Picking Grandmamma’s Pockets

  • Jarlath KilleenEmail author
  • Marion Durnin
Part of the Critical Approaches to Children's Literature book series (CRACL)


Grandmamma’s Pockets (1848), by Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall, was written after the worst year of the Famine, and concerns the process by which its protagonist, a semi-autobiographical ‘Annie Fielder’, learns to bring order and duty into her wayward childhood through the lessons taught to her, through the medium of her grandmother’s extraordinarily expansive pockets. The novel provided Hall with an opportunity to castigate the Irish Protestant community for its apparent lack of charity and sympathy for the Irish Catholics that surrounded it and in particular its failure to feed its poor neighbours in times of scarcity. The essay argues that Grandmamma’s Pockets should be understood as a serious attempt to counter the ‘Famine fatigue’ that was evident after three years of Irish difficulty.


Fairy Tale Child Reader Great Famine Famine Relief Great Hunger 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EnglishTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Independent ScholarSurreyEngland

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