These photographs, which cover the first century of Ireland in the era of photography, do more than tell the political story: they give a wider insight into a people, a landscape and a lost way of life - and they capture the sheer hard labour of rural survival.
Sean Sexton has been collecting historic photographs of Ireland for thirty years. His passion and experitise have made him a world leader in the field. Among his other books is The Plant Kingdoms of Charles Jones, also published by Thames & Hudson. Christine Kinealy is an Irish historian, whose first book This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52, was published to great controversy and acclaim.