Visiting author recounts the history of the Jeanie Johnston and its passages

On March 19, author Kathryn Miles comes to Saint Joseph’s College as part of the spring Cultural Affairs Lecture Series, to give a talk on her book, All Standing: The True Story of Hunger, Rebellion, and Survival Aboard the Jeanie Johnston.

The Jeanie Johnston, a tall ship that sailed between Ireland and North America from 1847 and 1855 on seven-week journeys, is noted for having not lost any lives in the course of its trips across the Atlantic, carrying emigrants who were fleeing poverty and famine.

In her book, Miles takes readers through the history of the Jeanie Johnston, one of the so-called “coffin ships” to have never lost a passenger. Publishers Weekly noted that the book “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. …Miles pulls no punches in her portrayal of the waves of discrimination that crashed over those fortunate enough to survive the voyage.”

Today, a replica of the Jeanie Johnston is docked at the Custom House Quay in Dublin’s city center, and provides guided tours of its history.

The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. in Saint Joseph’s College’s Viola George Auditorium, in Harold Alfond Hall. The talk will be preceded and followed by a performance by The Press Gang, a traditional Irish folk music trio from Portland, Maine. The events are free and open to the public.

The Cultural Affairs Lecture Series continues on March 31 with “Baseball: The Writers’ Sport,” with Saint Joseph’s professor of English Dr. Edward Rielly.

February 28, 2014
Contact: David Svenson at 207-893-7723 · dsvenson@sjcme.edu