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All Standing: The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Shipby Kathryn Miles
Synopses & Reviews
andlt;Bandgt;All Standing andlt;/Bandgt;andlt;Iandgt;The Remarkable Story of the andlt;/Iandgt;Jeanie Johnston, andlt;Iandgt;the Legendary Irish Famine Ship andlt;/Iandgt;recounts the journeys of this famous ship, her heroic crew, and the immigrants who were ferried between Ireland and North America. Spurred by a complex web of motivationsand#8212;shame, familial obligation, and sometimes even greedand#8212;more than a million people attempted to flee the Irish famine. More than one hundred thousand of them would die aboard one of the five thousand aptly named and#8220;coffin ships.and#8221; But in the face of horrific losses, a small ship named the andlt;Iandgt;Jeanie Johnston andlt;/Iandgt;never lost a passenger. Shipwright John Munn, community leader Nicholas Donovan, Captain James Attridge, Dr. Richard Blennerhassett, and the efforts of a remarkable crew allowed thousands of people to find safety and fortune throughout the United States and Canada. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Why did these individuals succeed when so many others failed? What prompted them to act, when so many people preferred to do nothingand#8212;or worse? Using newspaper accounts, rare archival documents, and her own experience sailing as an apprentice aboard the recently re-created andlt;Iandgt;Jeanie Johnston, andlt;/Iandgt;Kathryn Miles tells the story of these extraordinary people and the revolutionary milieu in which they set sail. The tale of each individual is remarkable in and of itself; read collectively, their stories paint a unique portrait of bravery in the face of a new world order. Theirs is a story of ingenuity and even defiance, one that recounts a struggle to succeed, to shake the mantle of oppression and guilt, to endure in the face of unimaginable hardship. On more than one occasion, stewards of the ship would be accused of acting out of self-interest or greed. Nevertheless, what these menand#8212;and their shipand#8212;accomplished over the course of eleven voyages to North America was the stuff of legend. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Interwoven in their tale is the story of Nicholas Reilly, a baby boy born on the shipand#8217;s maiden voyage. The Reilly family climbed aboard the andlt;Iandgt;Jeanie Johnston andlt;/Iandgt;in search of the American Dream. While they would find some version of that dream, it would not be without a struggleand#8212;one that would deposit Nicholas into a deeply controversial moment in American history. Against this backdrop, Miles weaves a thrilling, intimate narrative, chronicling the birth of a remarkable Irish-American family in the face of one of the planetand#8217;s greatest human rights atrocities.
"Having sailed on the recently recreated Jeanie Johnston, Miles, a professor of environmental writing at Unity College in Maine, is well-suited to tell the riveting tale of the only 'coffin ship' to never lose a passenger during the great emigration from a famine-ravished Ireland in the mid-19th century. She relates the story of a man born on the Jeanie's maiden voyage, and consequently named after the ship's captain, medic, and entire crew: Nicholas Reilly (for very short). Interwoven with the story of Nicholas's life in the U.S. (where he married, raised six kids, ran a business, and owned that holy grail of the American dream, 'a house in the suburbs') is a moving portrait of the Irish potato famine, a disaster exacerbated by logistical challenges plaguing relief efforts, religious schisms, and political tensions between the Crown and what was then a British colony. More than 100,000 immigrants perished during their attempts to escape their blighted homeland, and Miles pulls no punches in her portrayal of the waves of discrimination that crashed over those fortunate enough to survive the voyage. Nevertheless, Nicholas's story and the flawless record of the Jeanie are morsels of hope amid the Great Hunger. Map. Agent: Wendy Strothman." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The dramatic true tale of a boy born at sea during the Irish Potato famine and the “coffin ship” that saved him and thousands of others from one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises.
The nineteenth century Irish Potato Famine claimed the lives of more than 1,000,000 people. Many of these were Irish citizens who died on board ships carrying them away from Ireland. Promised jobs and a better life in North America, they emigrated, crowding onto aptly named “coffin ships,” whose gruesome conditions rivaled those of slave transports. But on one ship, decency prevailed, and each of the thousands of passengers who went aboard survived. Among these thousands was a baby boy born on the ship’s maiden voyage. That boy, Nicholas—Nicholas Richard James Thomas William John Gabriel Carls Michael John Alexander Trabaret Archibald Cornelius Hugh Arthur Edward Johnston Reilly, so named for the captain, doctor, and crew of the Jeanie Johnston—would go on to make his own remarkable voyage into the heart of America.
All Standing chronicles the life of Nicholas, his fellow passengers, and the heroic crew members who conveyed them to safety. Using personal interviews, newspaper accounts, rare archival documents, and her own sailing experience, Miles takes readers back to another time and place that, for all its extremity, seems strangely familiar—a dire moment in history shaped by home foreclosures and company bailouts, seemingly untreatable pandemics, and the threat of immigrant labor. Against the backdrop of one of history’s greatest atrocities, Miles weaves a thrilling, intimate narrative, chronicling the sea-passage and birth of one Irish-American family.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Kathryn Miles andlt;/bandgt;is professor of environmental writing at Unity College. She lives in Belfast, Maine.
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