Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart – review
An absorbing but uneven family memoir taking in both sides of the Barbadian slave trade and its legacy — (www.theguardian.com review)
Modern Britain was built on sugar; there is hardly a manufacturing town on these shores that was not in some way connected with the “Africa trade”. The glittering prosperity of slave ports such as Bristol and Liverpool was derived in large part from commerce with Africa.
In the heyday of the British slave trade, from 1700 to 1808, West Indians (as white sugar barons were then known) became conspicuous by their new wealth. Often they cast Barbados or Jamaica aside like a sucked orange in order to fritter their profits in England. A popular melodrama of 1771, Richard Cumberland’s The West Indian, satirised planters as drunken layabouts in ostentatiously buckled shoes and hats. Continue reading