Europe and Russia
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. 1971 (Sixth Printing). Letters and Papers from Prison. Edited by Eberhard Bethge. Macmillan, New York. [Translatedd from the German Widerstand un Ergbung: Briefe un Aufzeichnngen aus der Haft, Munich: Christian Kaiser Verlag, 1970. Letters by Bonhoeffer while he was imprisoned by Nazis, including a section (page 250) on food.
Conquest, R. 1986. The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. Oxford University Press. 412 pp. While much of the book focuses on the causes and impacts of famine in Ukraine from 1929 - 1933, the early chapters also cover revolution, the peasant war and famine from 1917-20.
Gutierrez, Nancy A. 2003. ‘Shall She Famish Then?’ Female Food Refusal in Early Modern England. Ashgate, Burlington, VT 146 pp. Includes accounts of fasting by women. \
Klooster, Wim. 2016. The Dutch Moment: War, Trade, and Settlement in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World. Cornell Univ. Press. 419 pp. Accounts of hunger on exploratory ships and on land.
Monahan, W. Gregory. 1993. Years of Sorrow: The Great Famine of 1709 in Lyon. Ohio State University Press. 246 pp. Accounts of hunger and starvation in France.
Ruggiero, G. (ed) 2002. A Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance: Blackwell Companions to European History. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. 561 pp Contains a section titled, Hunger.
Sharp, Buchanan. 2016. Famine and Scarcity in Late Medieval and Early Modern England: The Regulation of Grain Marketing, 1256-1631. Cambridge University Press. 264 pp Includes accounts of hunger in the 1300’s and 1400’s.
A link to contemporary poems about the Irish Potato Famine: http://www.iisresource.org/Documents/0A3_Famine_Poetry_Song.pdf
Withers, George. 1661 Crums & Scraps: An Improvement of Imprisonment. London . Here’s an excerpt from page 5 in a section titled, “Captivity Improved into Freedom by the Grace of God.”
“…Or, that the Remnant of a Loaf and Cheese,
Which at my forseaken Chamber lies,
Will mouldy be, or eaten by the Mice.”
A [19 June 1643] Declaration of the [British] Lord Commons Assembled in Parliament, Concerning the present lamentable and miserable Condition of Ireland, the poore Protestants in some places being forced to kill their Horses to satisfie the Hunger, and very many others having perished by Famine. Printed by George Miller, June 24, 1643.
“…since we are credibly informed that the wants of our adversaries doe in most parts equalize, in any far exceeds ours, where they have been forced to eate not the flesh only but the very hides of their Horses to keepe them from starving, which have brought very many of them to such a condition of weakness, that they appear rather like walking Anatomies than fighting men…”
Garnsey, Peter. 1988. Famine and Food Supply in the Graeco-Roman World: Responses to Risk and Crisis. Cambridge Univ. Press. 303 pp. A study of hunger and famine in the period covering roughly 100 BC to 300 AD.
On The Evil Times of Edward II - A poem written in the 1320’s that includes mention of hunger.
Here you can find more about the Great Famine in Europe.
Piers Plowman – The following from Wikipedia: Written c. 1370–90, also known as Visio Willelmi de Petro Ploughman (William's Vision of Piers Plowman) is a Middle English allegorical narrative poem by William Langland. It is written in unrhymed, alliterative verse divided into sections called passus (Latin for "step"). Like the Pearl Poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest works of English literature of the Middle Ages, even preceding and influencing Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Piers Plowman contains the first known reference to a literary tradition of Robin Hood tales.
Passus 6: Piers and the penitents plough the half-acre. Some people refuse to work, and Hunger punishes them until they work. But once Hunger has been sated, the people return to idleness. Here’s an excerpt from Passus 6 –
A heap of hermits · hung on to spades
And cut up their capes · to make themselves coats,
And went out as workmen · with spades and with shovels
To dig and to delve to drive away hunger.
And later in Passus 6 –
`I have no penny,' quoth Piers · `pullets for to buy,
Nor neither geese nor pigs · but two green cheeses,
A few curds and cream · and an oaten cake,
And two loaves of beans and bran · baked for my youngsters.
And yet I say, by my soul · I have no salt bacon;
Nor no hen's eggs, by Christ · collops for to make.
But I have parsley and leeks · with many cabbages,
And a cow and a calf · a cart-mare also
To draw dung afield · while the drought lasteth.
Photos of Russian/Ukranian famine victims can be found here.