University of Essex
The literature of Romanticism ran parallel to the British movements for the abolition of the slave trade and of slavery itself. What Elizabeth Bohls calls “the capacious genre of travel writing” (3) provided several of the key texts that fuelled these debates, most of them centred on the West Indies. These books, by John Gabriel Stedman, William Beckford, Matthew Gregory Lewis, Edward Long, Bryan Edwards, Marcus Rainsford, Olaudah Equiano, Janet Schaw, Maria Nugent, and Mary Prince, provide the material for Slavery and the Politics of Place. The books are well-known, at least to Caribbeanists, but the fine-grained analyses offered here are welcome additions to the scholarship on Romanticism, slavery, and travel writing.
As always in travel writing, description of place plays an important part, so it’s no surprise to see the language of the picturesque featuring so strongly in all the books...more