Saturday, September 21, 2013

Creating the Creole Island: Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Mauritius (1735-67) (review)

Creating the Creole Island is an important contribution to the study of slavery. The book is erudite, comparative, interdisciplinary, and it raises important questions about the creation of Creoles in slave societies. Like William St. Clair's The Door of No Return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade, Afua Cooper's The Hanging of Angelique,Indrani Chatterjee and Richard M. Eaton's Slavery & South Asian History, Emma Christopher, Cassandra Pybus, and Marcus Rediker's Many Middle Passages, and Ehud R.Toledano's As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in the Islamic Middle East, Vaughan's study of Mauritius examines a slave society outside of the Caribbean and North and South America. These areas have been for over forty years the center of slavery studies. This scholarship has revealed a great deal about the profitability of slavery, the work that slaves performed, master-slave relations, and slave culture. Vaughan's book will enable scholars of slavery to see how the institution developed on an island that was not as important as either Cuba or Haiti.

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