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"What sets Matthews's work apart from past and contemporary works concerning the British abolitionist movement is her assertion that nineteenth-century slave revolts constituted a primary agent of change through the semi-symbiotic relationship they shared with the metropolitan front in Parliament." -- Florida Historical Quarterly
"An innovative, fresh, and succinct study that begs the reader to reconsider past scholarly interpretations of the British movement to abolish slavery in the early nineteenth century." -- H-Atlantic
In this illuminating study, Gelien Matthews demonstrates how slave rebellions in the British West Indies influenced the tactics of abolitionists in England, and how the rhetoric and actions of the abolitionists emboldened slaves. Moving between the world of the British Parliament and the realm of Caribbean plantations, Matthews reveals a transatlantic dialectic of antislavery agitation and slave insurrection that eventually influenced the dismantling of slavery in British-held territories. She makes shrewd use of previously overlooked publications of British abolitionists to prove that their language changed over time in response to slave uprisings. This compelling work provides a valuable analytical tool in the interpretation of abolition in North America, uncovering the important connections between rebellious slaves on one side of the Atlantic and abolitionists on the other side.
Gelien Matthews teaches history at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.