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Look Inside Caribbean Culture and British Fiction in the Atlantic World, 1780–1870

Caribbean Culture and British Fiction in the Atlantic World, 1780–1870


Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521188715

£ 26.99

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About the Authors
  • Tim Watson challenges the idea that Caribbean colonies in the nineteenth century were outposts of empire easily relegated to the realm of tropical romance while the real story took place in Britain. Analyzing pamphlets, newspapers, estate papers, trial transcripts, and missionary correspondence, this book recovers stories of ordinary West Indians, enslaved and free, as they made places for themselves in the empire and the Atlantic world, from the time of sugar tycoon Simon Taylor to the perspective of Samuel Ringgold Ward, African American eyewitness to the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion. With readings of Maria Edgeworth and George Eliot, the book argues that the Caribbean occupied a prominent place in the development of English realism.  However, Watson shows too that we must sometimes turn to imperial romance - which made protagonists of rebels and religious leaders, as in Hamel, the Obeah Man (1827) - to understand the realities of Caribbean cultural life.

    • Recovers the narratives of ordinary Jamaicans and travelling African Americans at a time of crucial cultural change
    • Shows the interrelationship of British and Caribbean narratives before and after the British abolition of slavery
    • Analyzes wide range of literary, cultural and historical materials from Britain, USA and the Caribbean
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… undertaking very demanding archival work, and thus reconstructing the world behind the words of these many writers and speakers, Tim Watson has done a service for scholars of the Atlantic world.' Laura Doyle, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521188715
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Realism and romance in the nineteenth-century Caribbean
    1. Creole realism and metropolitan humanitarianism
    2. Caribbean romance and subaltern history
    3. 'This fruitful matrix of curses': the interesting narrative of the life of Samuel Ringgold Ward
    4. Jamaica, genealogy, George Eliot: inheriting the empire after Morant Bay
    Epilogue: 'And the sword will come from America'.

  • Author

    Tim Watson, University of Miami

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