Don’t forget about The Folly of the World cocktail contest that’s going on right now!
Two Three entries so far, one of which is poisonous, so if you folks want more books by Jesse it would behoove you to submit something…
Last night on the Lovecraft eZine Chat so graciously hosted by Mike Davis, I, perhaps not unexpectedly, got talking about my passion for 18th century lit, specifically women’s novels which reference slavery/the slave trade, a topic which took up most of my classes for my Master’s. Somewhat more unexpectedly, a viewer wrote in to ask what might be some interesting titles fitting that description that interested readers could check out! Holy moly, how awesome! 18th century novels are a passion of mine, and I think they’re under-read, so I was over the moon.
That said, rather than rattle off a bunch of titles for people to scribble down, I promised to post a list of some of my favorites that deal with Caribbean slavery, the middle passage, women’s interest in abolition/amelioration, etc. So, here is that list! It’s just a starting point, dear listeners and readers, thus once you plow through these, hit me up and I’ll dig up some even more obscure titles. And ones that do waaaaay more than that lone shout-out in Mansfield Park to the slave trade that always gets all the attention. Whee!
Belinda, Maria Edgeworth. 1801. Technically 19th century but whatever. Also features an eyebrow-raising parody of Mary Wollstonecraft, so that’s entertaining.
A Description of Millenium Hall [sic] and The History of Sir George Ellison. Sarah Scott. Love these books. So cray. Sarah Scott was really interesting so make sure to read the critical introductions, class!
The Adventures of David Simple. Sarah Fielding. This is long and weird but there’s a whole Jamaica connection, though one a bit less direct than the three above titles.
The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph. Frances Sherridan. This is probably my fave 18th c. novel, transatlantic connection or no! Glad to see it’s in print again. My copy is hideous and full of errors due to being a scan from some old microfiche. The things I do for love…
The History of Mary Prince. Mary Prince. Not a novel, but a fascinating account of the life of a liberated Jamaican slave in her own words (allegedly; again, the critical introduction is really interesting).
Oroonoko. Aphra Behn. A classic. “Long” 18th c. rather than the regular kind, but highly influential on later works about slavery.
Oh, and because I talked about it for way too long:
Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and his Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World. Trevor Burnard. One of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read, but highly informative about the conditions of 18th century Jamaican slavery.
This list might not have the best, or most representative books written during the (long) 18th century, but they are on the topic as asked! Hope they’re enjoyed. I babbled about a similar topic back when Historical Lovecraft debuted a million billion years ago, so you can check that out, too, if you like. Cheers, and thanks for the question! Super-fun to look up all these gems and think about the horror of humanity once again. It had been too long!