New Lease on Life

New Lease on Life

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A New Lease on Life is a study of landlords and tenants whose aspirations, opportunities, and destinies spanned the Atlantic. In this richly detailed history of migration and adaptation in the nineteenth century. Wilson focuses on the landlord-tenant relationship and how it changed in the Irish and North American context. Wilson reconstructs the family circumstances and estate management of two landlords, Stephen Moore, third earl of Mount Cashell, and Major Robert Perceval Maxwell. Each owned several estates in Ireland and consecutively owned the estate of Amherst Island in Ontario. She examines how the management of these estates changed over time and highlights the differences between management in the north and south of Ireland. She considers the form the landlord-tenant relationship took in the New World to determine whether tenancy arrangements in the New World offered landlords an opportunity to start afresh or, instead, were influenced by the traditions and financial circumstances of their Irish estates. The study then follows more than one hundred tenant families who, between 1820 and 1860, migrated from County Down to Amherst Island. Wilson discusses why these families emigrated, and what it meant socially and economically to be a tenant in the New World, where most farmers were freeholders. Wilson sets her study firmly in the framework of British, Irish, and American writing on land tenure and concludes that both landlords and tenants were more successful in the New World. Wealth and land ownership might be slow in materializing, but the opportunity, the choices, and the attainment of security were all greater than they had been in Ireland.... hastened the demise of landlordism.1 The problem with much of this work concerning Ireland, however, is that it either ignores the Famine completely or is based on estates that survived the Famine and does not take into account those thatanbsp;...

Title:New Lease on Life
Author:Catherine Anne Wilson
Publisher:McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP - 1994-03-01


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