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There is a surprisingly rich resource of books on the West Indies.  Only a few books on the Caribbean are commonly found in bookshops but there are an enormous range of titles in existence.  There is a fine online bibliography of West Indies books, mostly sorted by author, compiled by Don Mitchell at http://books.ai

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ST JOHNSTON Sir Reginald From a Colonial Governor
ST JOHNSTON Sir Reginald From a Colonial Governor
ST JOHNSTON Sir Reginald From a Colonial Governor's Note-Book.

Hutchinson & Co, London (1936)
285pp + plates. 1st ed., minor tone spotting to first few pages otherwise clean in original blue cloth.
The author recounts his time in office as Acting Governor of the Falkland Is., Administrator in Dominica and St Kitts and Governor of the Leeward Islands.
£70.00


RODWAY James In the Guiana Forest; Studies of Nature in Relation to the Struggle for Life
RODWAY James In the Guiana Forest; Studies of Nature in Relation to the Struggle for Life

T. Fisher Unwin (1911)
326pp + photo plates. Revised 2nd ed., clean in worn and marked original cloth.
£15.00


ANDREWS Evangeline Walker Journal of a Lady of Quality; Being the Narrative of a Journey from Scotland to the West Indies, North Carolina, and Portugal, in the Years 1774 to 1776
ANDREWS Evangeline Walker Journal of a Lady of Quality; Being the Narrative of a Journey from Scotland to the West Indies, North Carolina, and Portugal, in the Years 1774 to 1776

Yale University Press, New Haven (1923)
341pp + plates. 3rd printing, clean in worn original half cloth with marbled papers.
Good section on Antigua and St Kitts.
£20.00


ROTH Walter Edmund An Introductory Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians
ROTH Walter Edmund An Introductory Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians
ROTH Walter Edmund An Introductory Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians

38th Annual Report of the bureau of American Ethnology, Washington (1924)
745 large pp + plates. 1st ed., a couple of m/s corrections to text otherwise fine in original green cloth.
£60.00


CLEMENTI Cecil Through British Guiana to the Summit of Roraima.
CLEMENTI Cecil Through British Guiana to the Summit of Roraima.

T. Fisher Unwin (1920)
236pp + plates, maps and publisher's catalogue. 1st ed., very fine in very fine D/W.
Description of travel into the interior of Guiana. An exceptionally fine copy.
£185.00


BODDAM-WHETHAM J.W. Roraima and British Guiana with a glance at Bermuda, the West Indies, and the Spanish Main
BODDAM-WHETHAM J.W. Roraima and British Guiana with a glance at Bermuda, the West Indies, and the Spanish Main
BODDAM-WHETHAM J.W. Roraima and British Guiana with a glance at Bermuda, the West Indies, and the Spanish Main

Hurst and Blackett, London (1879)
xiii + 363pp + frontispiece and folding map. 1st ed., mostly clean in original worn cloth, rebacked.
Good description of life in the Caribbean at that time.
£175.00


DALTON Henry G. The history of British Guiana - A general description of the colony;  a narrative of some of the principal events from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time;  together with an account of its climate, geology, staple products and natural history
DALTON Henry G. The history of British Guiana - A general description of the colony;  a narrative of some of the principal events from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time;  together with an account of its climate, geology, staple products and natural historyDALTON Henry G. The history of British Guiana - A general description of the colony;  a narrative of some of the principal events from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time;  together with an account of its climate, geology, staple products and natural history
DALTON Henry G. The history of British Guiana - A general description of the colony; a narrative of some of the principal events from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time; together with an account of its climate, geology, staple products and natural history

Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, London (1855)
2 vols., 8vo. 518 + 580pp + 6 attractive engraved plates and folding map. 1st ed., mostly fine in modern blue half morocco. Inscribed by author on f.e.p.
Good history of the island plus description of its present state and a study of the natural history. A very scarce work.
£525.00


STARK James H. and RODWAY J. Stark
STARK James H. and RODWAY J. Stark
STARK James H. and RODWAY J. Stark's guide-book and history of British Guiana. - Containing a description of everything relating to this colony that would be of interest to tourists and residents.

Boston (1902 (circa))
120pp + plates, folding map and ads. 1st ed., clean in pictorial cloth.
Fine early guide with good photo illustrations and some engraved views.
£85.00


NAIPAUL V.S. The Overcrowded Barracoon and Other Articles
NAIPAUL V.S. The Overcrowded Barracoon and Other Articles

Andre Deutsch (1972)
286pp. 1st ed., f.e.p. toned otherwise fine in very good D/W.
£7.00


RANSTON Jackie The Lindo Legacy
RANSTON Jackie The Lindo Legacy

Toucan Books, London (2000)
144pp + plates. 1st ed., very fine in fine D/W.
Study of Jamaican branch of Sephardic Jewish family including Chris Blackwell, the music promoter.
£60.00


JENSEN Peta Gay The Last Colonials: The Story of Two European Families in Jamaica
JENSEN Peta Gay The Last Colonials: The Story of Two European Families in Jamaica

Radcliffe Press (2005)
194pp. 1st ed., fine in fine D/W.
£60.00


BARRETT Robert A. The Barretts of Jamaica: The Family of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
BARRETT Robert A. The Barretts of Jamaica: The Family of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Armstrong Browning Library of Baylor University (2000)
212pp + plates. 1st ed., fine in fine D/W.
£55.00


MANLEY Carmen The Great Race
MANLEY Carmen The Great Race

Island Publications (1973)
19 large pp. 1st ed., signed on title page. Clean in card covers.
Illustrated children's story.
£7.00


HUNTLEY Eric E. Marcus Garvey: A Biography.
HUNTLEY Eric E. Marcus Garvey: A Biography.

Bogle-l'Ouverture Press Ltd (1993)
35pp. 1st ed., fine in card covers.
£4.00


WRIGHT Philip Lady Nugent
WRIGHT Philip Lady Nugent's Journal - of her residence in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805.

Uni. of W.I. Press (2002)
xxxix + 331pp, revised ed., fine in card covers.
Lady Nugent's husband was governor of Jamaica. Gives a vivid impression of planter society.
£9.00


CRATON Michael Seaarching for the Invisible Man. Slaves and Plantation life in Jamaica.
CRATON Michael Seaarching for the Invisible Man. Slaves and Plantation life in Jamaica.

Harvard Uni Press (1978)
xxiii + 439 large pp. 1st ed., fine in worn D/W.
Based on a study of Worthy Park estate.
£20.00


MANLEY Rachel Edna Manley. The Diaries.
MANLEY Rachel Edna Manley. The Diaries.

Andre Deutsch (1989)
308pp + plates. 1st ed., clean in D/W.
£7.00


JAMAICA The case of Lecesne and Escoffery
JAMAICA The case of Lecesne and EscofferyJAMAICA The case of Lecesne and EscofferyJAMAICA The case of Lecesne and EscofferyJAMAICA The case of Lecesne and EscofferyJAMAICA The case of Lecesne and Escoffery
JAMAICA The case of Lecesne and Escoffery

London (1824-8)
Original set of Court Papers for the legal case brought in London comprising Dispatches sent by Lord Manchester, Governor of Jamaica from 1824 to 1827, 728pp + Letters received from the Colonial Department 1824-7, 104pp + “Statement of the Estate & Effects of George Mackay of Pembroke in Trelawny” together with papers relating to this, 11pp. + 1828 Affidavits and papers to support the claim that Louis Lecesne had not in fact been born in Jamaica + sundry other papers relating to the case. All in neat and clear manuscript in fine condition housed in quarter calf box. Also 1825 House of Commons report on the affair and a finely bound book of photocopies of Legal works connected with the case.
These documents, dealing with Jamaica’s colonial jurisprudence, will be of great interest to lawyers and historians, particularly to legal historians, interested in the unfair, discriminatory and inhuman colonial legal and judicial system. People conversant with the present day principles of civil liberties and human rights will be shocked to read these legal documents highlighting the iniquitous and heartless colonial jurisprudence and callous judicial system. These documents show the colonial cruel and injudicious slave-owning mentality persisting in the 1820s and after. Simply stated, the facts of this long and sordid episode in Jamaica, where justice was finally achieved by a tortuous route to the British House of Commons, were that in 1823 the governor of Jamaica, acting hastily upon rumours of revolt by slaves and others against the Jamaican government, deported to Haiti two liquor merchants, who were disenfranchised ‘people of colour’. This was done despite the fact that, during the deportation process, they were freed from detention, for lack of evidence, by the courts accepting their application under a petition of habeaus corpus. The proceedings of this case in Jamaica in the 19th century case highlight the heavy handedness of the colonial authorities against former slaves and other subjugated minorities. It is important to emphasise that in those days the laws of categorising the population of Jamaica, and some other colonies, were rather complicated and cumbersome. For example, people of colour (mostly the result of white fathers and black mothers) unless born free or ‘manumized’ (the act of liberation of a slave from bondage: see Fenwick v. Chapman 9 Pet 472), remained slaves until the fourth degree. Until the mixing of blood had reached that degree, they remained slaves. People in colonies were categorised as whites, free people of colour, free blacks, people of colour in slavery, and blacks in slavery. The restrictions on non-whites were grievously onerous and obnoxious. For example, all non-whites were incapacitated by the Jamaican law-makers from giving evidence against white persons. The two merchants were lucky as a British sea captain took them from Haiti to England. On finding out their plight, some of the Abolitionists took their petition to the House of Commons. The parliamentary debates and the document produced therefor are of great interest. So is the other correspondence connection with this, particularly a letter written on 17th September 1816 by Stephen Lushington to William Courtenay. A related Court of the King’s Bench law report of 1830 of a libel case again John Murray, a bookseller of repute, is also included: R. v. Murray. The two merchants eventually were found to have been born in Jamaica and to be Jamaican citizens. As such they could not have been deported. They triumphantly returned to Jamaica.
£8,000.00


ALLEYNE Warren Barbados at War 1939-1945. - An historical account.
ALLEYNE Warren Barbados at War 1939-1945. - An historical account.

Barbados (1999)
40pp. 1st ed., fine in card covers.
Well illustrated history with much on U Boat war.
£6.00


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Links to other West Indies sites

 

Family history of Jamaica

http://users.pullman.com/mitchelm/jamaica.htm

Sources of genealogy and historical information

Turks and Caicos Islands Museum

http://www.tcmuseum.org