The Last Irishman was written in 1851 in the form of a historical novel, but it is actually a real-time report of what was currently happening only a few hundred miles away from its French author, Elie Berthet (1815-1891). Although the Irish had been suffering under the cruel domination of the English for over six centuries, their miseries had reached their heights with the potato blight (their main food staple) which occurred in the 1845-1852 period. During those years, over one million Irish died of starvation and over two million emigrated, many to the United States. This story brings out the courage and indomitable spirit of the Irish that permitted them to survive after so many centuries of harsh treatment by the British crown.
Berthet was an acclaimed historian and novelist, and within a year, translations of this work appeared in German, Swedish and Spanish, further alerting other European communities as to what was happening in Ireland. Today, with this translation, English-speaking history buffs, and in particular those who have an interest in Ireland, will enjoy this unique view into the turbulent history of that beautiful country.