Recently published work

On this page we will occasionally highlight recently published work which might be of interest to users of this website. Doing so does not endorse the opinions of the authors; but we mention them here because of their potential interest.


Christer Petley, White Fury. A Jamaican Slaveholder and the Age of Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2018)

"The sugar planter Simon Taylor, who claimed ownership of over 2,248 enslaved people in Jamaica at the point of his death in 1813, was one of the wealthiest slaveholders ever to have lived in the British empire.

In White Fury, Christer Petley uses Taylor's rich and expressive letters to allow us an intimate glimpse into the aspirations and frustrations of a wealthy and powerful British slaveholder during the Age of Revolution. The letters provide a fascinating insight into the merciless machinery and unpredictable hazards of the Jamaican plantation world; into the ambitions of planters who used the great wealth they extracted from Jamaica to join the ranks of the British elite; and into the impact of wars, revolutions, and fierce political struggles that led, eventually, to the reform of the exploitative slave system that Taylor had helped build . . . and which he defended right up until the last weak scratches of his pen."

Further details are at Oxford University Press.

Daniel Livesay, Children of Uncertain Fortune. Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833 (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture / University of North Carolina Press, 2018)

"By tracing the largely forgotten eighteenth-century migration of elite mixed-race individuals from Jamaica to Great Britain, Children of Uncertain Fortune reinterprets the evolution of British racial ideologies as a matter of negotiating family membership . . . Daniel Livesay is the first scholar to follow the hundreds of children born to white planters and Caribbean women of color who crossed the ocean for educational opportunities, professional apprenticeships, marriage prospects, or refuge from colonial prejudices."

Further details are at University of North Carolina Press.

Margot Finn and Kate Smith (eds), The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 (UCL Press, 2018).

The essays in this collection explore how empire in Asia shaped British country houses, their interiors and the lives of their residents. It includes chapters from researchers based in a wide range of settings such as archives and libraries, museums, heritage organisations, the community of family historians and universities. It moves beyond conventional academic narratives and makes an important contribution to ongoing debates around how empire impacted Britain.
The whole book can be downloaded for free as a pdf file. See the UCL Press website page for details:
UCL Press.

Katie Donington, Ryan Hanley, and Jessica Moody (eds), Britain’s History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery. Local Nuances of a National Sin (Liverpool University Press, 2016).

Transatlantic slavery affected every space and community in Britain. This collection brings together localised case studies of Britain’s history and memory of its involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, and slavery. These essays, ranging in focus from eighteenth-century Liverpool to twenty-first-century rural Cambridgeshire, from racist ideologues to Methodist preachers, examine how transatlantic slavery impacted on, and continues to impact, people and places across Britain.
Further details are at Liverpool University Press.

Natasha Lightfoot, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation (Duke UP, 2015).

The book tells the story of how, following the abolition of slavery in 1834, Antigua's newly freed black working people struggled to realize freedom in their everyday lives, prior to and in the decades following emancipation. For further details go to the website Duke University Press.