The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History

Overview

The history of Trinidad begins with a delusion: the sixteenth century belief that somewhere nearby on the South American mainland lay the fabulous kingdom of El Dorado. Two centuries of multinational intrigue followed, personified in the rivalled quest for the mythical kingdom of gold between the aging conquistador Antonio de Berrio and Sir Walter Ralegh, and culminating in the brutal stewardship of Thomas Picton, the English governor put on trial for the torture of a fourteen-year-old mulatto girl. Relating this...
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The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History

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Overview

The history of Trinidad begins with a delusion: the sixteenth century belief that somewhere nearby on the South American mainland lay the fabulous kingdom of El Dorado. Two centuries of multinational intrigue followed, personified in the rivalled quest for the mythical kingdom of gold between the aging conquistador Antonio de Berrio and Sir Walter Ralegh, and culminating in the brutal stewardship of Thomas Picton, the English governor put on trial for the torture of a fourteen-year-old mulatto girl. Relating this labyrinthine story with clarity and novelistic drama, V. S. Naipaul accomplishes an unparalleled feat of historical writing.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Loss of El Dorado (1969) chronicles how the belief that the mythical land of plenty lay off the coast of Trinidad-Naipal's birthplace-placed that country into the world's vision, making it an object of desire for Spain and Britain as well as a haven for adventurers, slavers, and other undesirables. Naipaul's ancestors hailed from India, and in India: A Wounded Civilization (1975), the author returned to his roots to discover how the country's tumultuous past was still impacting its present and shaping its future. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“History as literature, meticulously researched and masterfully written.” –The New York Times Book Review

“A formidable achievement. . . . No historian has attempted to weave together in so subtle a manner the threads of the most complex and turbulent period of Caribbean history.” –The Times Literary Supplement

“Brilliant. . . . Startling.” –New Statesman

“A remarkable book. . . . Intelligent, humane, brilliantly written.” –Book World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780039472122
  • Publisher: Random House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1985

Meet the Author

V. S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at Oxford he began to write, and since then he has followed no other profession. He is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction and the recipient of numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize in 2001, the Booker Prize in 1971, and a knighthood for services to literature in 1990. He lives in Wiltshire, England.

Biography

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at University College, Oxford, he began to write, and since then has followed no other profession. He has published more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Half a Life, A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River, and a collection of letters, Between Father and Son. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 17, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chaguanas, Trinidad
    1. Education:
      Queen's Royal College, Trinidad, 1943-48; B.A., University College, Oxford, 1953

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