“I never could forget my darling mother”: The language of recollection in a corpus of female Irish emigrant correspondence

Emma Moreton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The post-famine period from the 1850s to the 1920s was a time that saw a significantincrease in female migration from Ireland to North America. Economic changes inIreland, including declining wage-earning capabilities due to the de-industrialisationof the Irish countryside, as well as changes in inheritance practices from partible toimpartible inheritance systems, led to changes in marriage trends. In short, womenmarried ‘less frequently and at later ages than in the pre-famine past’, thuscontributing to ‘a massive post-famine emigration by young, unmarried women’(Miller et. al., 1995, p. 3). Between 1852 and 1921 the median age for female Irishemigrants was 21.2 and after 1880 young women constituted the majority of thedeparting Irish (Miller, 1985, p. 392). A small glimpse into the lives of these youngwomen – their preoccupations, experiences, perceptions and beliefs – can be found inthe letters they wrote home to their families in Ireland. Publisher Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History of the Family on 24th March 2016, available online: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1081602X.2016.1155469
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-336
Number of pages22
JournalHistory of the Family
Volume21
Issue number3
Early online date24 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History of the Family on 24th March 2016, available online: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1081602X.2016.1155469

Keywords

  • migration history
  • personal correspondence
  • corpus linguistics
  • digital humanities
  • emotions history

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