Crossing the Line
Early Creole Novels and Anglophone Caribbean Culture in the Age of Emancipation
University of Virginia Press 2017
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in British StudiesNew Books in Caribbean StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network November 7, 2017 Kathleen DeGuzman
Candace Ward’s Crossing the Line: Early Creole Novels and Anglophone Caribbean Culture in the Age of Emancipation (University of Virginia Press, 2017) foregrounds an understudied group of writers: white creole novelists in Britain’s Caribbean colonies. White creoles in the Caribbean were characterized as lazy, depraved, and provincial by their contemporaries in Britain, particularly amid early nineteenth-century political and social campaigns to end the institution of slavery in the Caribbean. Ward analyzes novels by white creoles to show the complex ways these writers melded fact and fiction to support the planter class’s ultimately misguided attempts to sustain slavery. Examining novels such as Cynric Williams’s Hamel, the Obeah Man (1827) and E.L. Joseph’s Warner Arundell (1838), Ward’s work highlights how writers from the so-called periphery contributed to the development of the novel through the troubling yet innovative ways they mobilize fiction for political aims.
Candace Ward is an Associate Professor of English at Florida State University, where she teaches classes on early Anglo-Caribbean literature and culture, eighteenth-century British literature, and early women’s fiction.
Kathleen DeGuzman is an Assistant Professor of English at San Francisco State University. Her teaching and research focus on Caribbean literature, Caribbean and British cultural entanglements, and the novel. She is completing Small Places: The Anglophone Caribbean, Victorian Britain, and the Forms of Atlantic Archipelagoes, a book project that aligns the Caribbean and Britain through their shared geographical reality as archipelagoes.