Leaving Rohault and Cyrano for now, returning to Famine orphans with a suggestion about reading against the grain.
One of the things I ‘d love to do is put the young Irish Famine orphans at the centre of their own story. It would mean looking differently at the sources we have. Maybe it’s beyond this aging, increasingly discombobulated male. Old methods are also still valuable. The first thing I learnt as a history student many, many, years ago, was to examine the source I was using–where did it come from? How authentic was it? Was it reliable? If it was a document, who wrote it, and why? What was its purpose, what barrow was the author pushing, what axe did he or she want to grind? There’s no such thing as an unbiased source.
I’m beginning this post with Appendix J Return of Cases of Orphan Female Apprentices whose Indentures were cancelled, by the Court of Petty Sessions, at the Water Police Office [in Sydney]. It…
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