"Watson admirably negotiates between historical methodologies and literary criticism...In a move that nicely foregrounds the transatlantic dimension of his study, [he] concludes with an epilogue describing the transitional power relations in the Caribbean during the late nineteenth century....[he] ends his fine study with a reminder of the crucial role that Jamaica played in the politics of the Caribbean, Britain, and even the United States during the period examined in his book."
-Susan Hall, H-Net Reviews. July, 2011
"...Watson's book makes an impressive contribution to scholarship on these works."
-Susan Hall,Cameron University
"Watson's study thus eloquently heeds its own caution: instead of reproducing the paranoid fantasies of white Creole slave masters and metropolitan abolitionists alike who saw slave conspiracies at every turn, scholars might limn a more realistic and less romantic-and thus balanced-interpretation of the mutually constitutive dynamic between Caribbean culture and British fiction across the nineteenth-century Atlantic world."
-Sean X. Goudie,Pennsylvania State University
"...some may argue against his reliance on imperial archives, he makes a commendable effort to read them against the grain and fill in some of the historical gaps that have hitherto been ignored."
-CHANDANI PATEL,University of Chicago
"While his book is part of the Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture series, Watson goes on to provide as much if not more a history of the nineteenth-century Caribbean, with an impressive immersion in colonial documents, missionary archives, local newspapers, and pamphlets to capture the quotidian details of a world in transformation."
-John M. Picker,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Combines literary criticism and historical analysis, examining a wide range of sources to rescue the stories of ordinary black Jamaicans and traveling African Americans from historical obscurity. At the same time, the book uses canonical fiction to show how crucial Caribbean culture was in the development of British fiction.