Caribbeana: An Anthology of English Literature of the West Indies, 1657-1777

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Although the colonies in the West Indies were as important to the expanding British empire as those in North America, writings from the British West Indies have been conspicuously absent from anthologies of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British literature. In this first literary anthology dedicated to the region, Thomas W. Krise gathers important but little-known descriptions, poems, narratives, satires, and essays written in and about this culturally rich and politically tempestuous region.

Caribbeana offers invaluable period commentaries on slavery, colonialism, gender relations, African and European history, natural history, agriculture, and medicine. Highlights include several of the earliest protests against slavery; a superb ode by the Cambridge-educated Afro-Jamaican poet Francis Williams; James Grainger's extended georgic poem, The Sugar Cane; Frances Seymour's poignant tale of the Englishman Inkle who sells his Indian savior-lover Yarico into slavery; and several descriptions of the West Indies during the early years of settlement.

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Editorial Reviews

Krise English, Air Force Humanities Institute, U.S. Air Force Academy presents a collection of descriptions, satires, poems, narratives, and essays written in and about the British colonies of the West Indies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Tony Gibbs
To many Englishmen of the later 17th and early 18th centuries, the West Indies was a place in transition, part literary fantasy and part hard reality. Both aspects are liberally represented in Caribbeana an anthology of literature from and about the islands, edited by Thomas W. Krise. A professor of English who grew up in St. Thomas, USVI, Krise brings a careful critical sense to his selection. He includes early examples of travel writing, the often noted but seldom printed epic poem of interracial love and betrayal "The Story of Inkle and Yarico," and attacks on and a defense of slavery, possibly written by slaves. What's striking to the present-day reader is how much of the material, composed three centuries ago and more, is pertinent today.
Islands Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226453903
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Series: Cinema and Modernity Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 358
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

A Note on the Text
Introduction 1
1 From A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados (1657) 16
2 From Jamaica Viewed (1661) 31
3 From Friendly Advice to the Gentlemen-Planters of the East and West Indies (1684) 51
4 A Trip to Jamaica (1698) 77
5 A Speech Made by a Black of Guardaloupe (1709) 93
6 The Speech of Moses Bon Saam (1735) 101
7 From The Speech of Mr. John Talbot Campo-bell (1736) 108
8 The Story of Inkle and Yarico and An Epistle from Yarico to Inkle, After he had left her in Slavery (1738) 141
9 Poems from Caribbeana (1741) 147
10 The Sugar Cane: A Poem, In Four Books (1764) 166
11 From A General Description of the West-Indian Islands (1767) 261
12 "Carmen, or, an Ode," in Edward Long's A History of Jamaica (1774) 315
13 From Jamaica, a Poem, In Three Parts (1777) 326
Notes 341
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