Item description for Lady Nugent's Journal of Her Residence in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805 by Verene A. Shepherd...
Lady Nugent's husband was governor of Jamaica during a critical period of the Napoleonic Wars. Her personal diary conveys impressions of life among the slave-owning colonial gentry. The journal was first published in 1907.
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Studio: University Press of the West Indies
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.91" Height: 0.94" Weight: 1.28 lbs.
Publisher University Press of the West Indies
ISBN 9766401284 ISBN13 9789766401283
Availability 0 units.
More About Verene A. Shepherd
Shepherd is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
Reviews - What do customers think about Lady Nugent's Journal of Her Residence in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805?
Required reading for all Caribbean nationals Mar 26, 2009
This book should be required reading for all Caribbean people. This is the history we learnt in school told by a contemporary. It adds meat and marrow to the skeleton theories we memorized and regurgitated for external examinations. Maria Nugent was a woman of her times. She was, therefore, less than enthusiastic about being dispatched to a remote colonial outpost to live among the "blackies".
You have to be patient with poor Maria when reading her journal. She was orthodox in every way imaginable. But although she was not given to thinking outside the box, she was far from clueless. She was intelligent, if in a mundane way.
The prevailing mantra of the time was that empire was a noble project and slavery liberated the "blackies" from darkest (read non-Christian) cannibalistic Africa. There were times when I found her attempts at convincing herself of this quite frankly, amusing. In describing a scene where a new shipment of Africans had been brought ashore, she employed the most amazing mental gymnastics to convince herself that the new imports were happy to be where they were and in the state in which they found themselves. This same Maria Nugent is later terrified out of her skull when the happy "blackies" of Haiti inexplicably revolt. She was beside herself with worry that revolution fever would spred to Jamaica and infect the happy blackies there.
But don't be too hard on the good lady; she was a conventional "thinker"(now there's an oxymoron). Her journal is interesting from the point of view that it gives first hand narratives about events and a time which seem academic and far removed from who we are as 21st Century Caribbean people. Although I knew intellectually that these events were very real and that they have shaped who we now are; reading this book sharpened my emotional understanding of the events and time.