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White Witch of Rosehall Paperback – January 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Having travelled to Jamaica on numerous occasions and studied Carribean Studies, particularly plantocracy, I felt compelled to read this novel.
In my opinion, the book is a combination of both fact and fiction - with some folklore thrown in for good measure.
It is a fascinating read leading up to the slave rebellions in 1831 on the island, focusing on Rosehall Estate and it's mistress, Annie Palmer. Legend says Annie murdered all three of her husbands and that she was a witch.
If any truth lies in this novel, which unfortunately, I suspect it does, Annie Palmer was a wicked woman, who relished the physical and psychological torture of her plantation workers. Their eventual uprising, although disturbing (because similar events really happened during this time period) was gratifying.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has travelled to Jamaica, particularly Montego Bay - which is the closest city to the estate. Regardless of fact or fiction, the book offers an interesting slice of Jamaican history.
Annie Palmer was neither Irish nor French and she was not born in France or Haiti to mysterious unknown parents. Her real name was Ann Mary Patterson and she was born in 1802 at The Baulk Estate, her father's plantation near Lucea in Hanover Parish, Jamaica. Her family was both prominent and well-known in Jamaica. Her father was John Patterson, a Scottish planter, and her mother, Juliana, was the daughter of the Hon. William Brown of Kew Estate, Hanover, an aristocratic Anglo-Irish sugar planter who was the Custos and Chief Magistrate of Hanover Parish. His wife, Mary Kerr James, Ann's grandmother, was a descendant of one of the oldest English families in Jamaica who had arrived with Penn and Venables during the English Conquest of 1655.
Annie only had one husband, John Rose Palmer, Esq., the owner of Rose Hall and Palmyra Estates, St. James, who was a collateral ancestor of my Mother. They were married on the 27th of March, 1820, at Mount Pleasant Estate, St. James Parish, Jamaica, the home of Ann's mother and step-father. Following a honeymoon in England they returned to Jamaica and took up residence at Rose Hall Great House where they lived for almost eight years until John Rose Palmer died in 1827 at the age of 42. He was buried in the St. James Anglican Churchyard in Montego Bay by the Rev. Thomas Smith on the 5th of November, 1827.Read more ›
For more on Annie Palmer you could visit Rosehall in Jamaica. Good Luck! Let me know how it goes.
This book neatly weaves fact and fiction together. Indeed there is a Rosehall estate. Annie Palmer was a slave owner in the dying moments of slavery in Jamaica and her 3 husbands all died under mysterious circumstances and she was found strangled in her bed room.
The book is set against the backdrop of the impending emancipation of the slaves in Jamaica in 1834 and the simmering under-current of revolt fueled by the belief in the slave population that emancipation was already granted from the UK and that it was the planters who was withholding their freedom. The 1831 slave uprising in Jamaica did in fact happened and out of those events came one of our national heroes - Sam Sharpe.
What this book does so well is to give some explanations (fictional though they may be) to the Annie Palmer legend and to her eventual death. It also paints her aptly as part witch, part slave overlord and all woman who despite her tough exterior wanted to be love unconditionally. In enters the dashing Mr. Rutherford. The books also shows that despite the curelty of slavery people of all class and colour in Jamaica in that time could love, be happy and in some way co-existed if not out of an uneasy pact.
The author allows the read to feel for each character and understands what drove each of the main character to the things they did be it out of love or sheer necessity. It was a great read for me and I would recommend it to all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recently returned from a trip to Jamaica and was fascinated by the story of Rose Hall. The book was a good read and interesting story.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
The last time I read this book was 38 years ago. The book I read was a softcover book with the same illustration.Published 10 months ago by Karen Mcintyre
Awesome read! I have read this book when I was in High school and it opened my eyes to my heritage #ProudJamaicanPublished on January 3, 2014 by CHRISTINA
This book is a must-read as it is indeed a part of the history of wonderful Jamaica. For anyone who has no idea about particular aspects of Jamaican culture, this book provides a... Read morePublished on December 1, 2013 by Julia S Ruddock
This story would make a great movie. I hope some movie maker will find this book and decides to turn the story into a movie. Read morePublished on November 28, 2013 by Lorna Gill
I picked up this novel because of an upcoming trip to Jamaica. I first read Orlando Patterson's Children of Sisyphus, which is one of the best novels that I have read, and now... Read morePublished on October 19, 2013 by Daniel Gamboa
Keeps you thinking or imagining what next keeps you in suspense. I like the suspense. A page turner will recommend to friends.Published on August 5, 2013 by Doraska L McKeller