The English in the West Indies; Or, The Bow of Ulysses

The English in the West Indies; Or, The Bow of Ulysses

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by James Anthony Froude
     
 

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After rejecting a potential life as a clergyman, James Anthony Froude became a well regarded British historian during the mid-19th century, and works like History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada continue to be read. He also wrote historical novels like The Nemesis of Faith.

Overview

After rejecting a potential life as a clergyman, James Anthony Froude became a well regarded British historian during the mid-19th century, and works like History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada continue to be read. He also wrote historical novels like The Nemesis of Faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940024218174
Publisher:
Longmans, Green, and Co
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
723 KB

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at last really, and woke at seven in the morning to find the sun shining, and the surface of the ocean still undulating but glassy calm. The only signs left of the tempest were the swallow-like petrels skimming to and fro in our wake, picking up the scraps of food and the plate washings which the cook's mate had thrown overboard; smallest and beautifullest of all the gull tribe, called petrel by our ancestors, who went to their Bibles more often than we do for their images, in memory of St. Peter, because they seem for a moment to stand upon the water when they stoop upon any floating object.1 In the afternoon we passed the Azores, rising blue and fairy-like out of the ocean; unconscious they of the bloody battles which once went on under their shadows. There it was that Grenville, in the ' Revenge,' fought through a long summer day alone against a host of enemies, and died there and won immortal honour. The Azores themselves are Grenville's monument, and in the memory of Englishmen are associated for ever with his glorious story. Behind these islands, too, lay Grenville's comrades, the English privateers, year after year waiting for Philip's plate fleet. Behind these islands lay French squadrons waiting for the English sugar ships. They are calm and silent now, and are never likely to echo any more to battle thunder. Men come and go and play out their little dramas, epic or tragic, and it matters nothing to nature. Their wild pranks leave no scars, and the decks are swept clean for the next comers. CHAPTER III. The tropics—Passengers on board—Account of the Darien Canal—Planters' complaints—West Indian history—The Spanish conquest—Drake andHawkins—The buccaneers—The pirates—French and English—Rodney —Battle of April 12—Peace with honour—Doers and talkers. Another two da...

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English in the West Indies; or, the Bow of Ulysses 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sybok More than 1 year ago
The Bow of Ulysses is unstrung, and Penelope Brittania is unprotected from the foul suitors about her. This is Froude's metaphor for the British Empire circa 1888. The bow is Imperial Sovereignty, and Froude sees no man with the strength to string it - no man with the nobility to rule and the ambition to act. The decline of Great Britain may have been the inspiration for Froude's writing, but it is fitting that the metaphor comes as the subtitle. The book is first a whirlwind account of the English adventures in the West Indies. Froude touches on economics, food, culture, gender relations, race relations, politics, geography, history, and more as he jumps from island to island. Barbados, Dominica, Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba, all are treated to their own vigorous chapters in Froude's journey. Also impressive is the artwork included by the author - sketches of scenes he saw during his travels - which is rendered beautifully by my Nook. At the end of each chapter Froude speculates on the fate of the English colonial enterprise with poignant accuracy. In our modern era of staunch anti-colonialism it is refreshing to read a genuine reactionary, a gentleman and intellectual from another era.