Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice

Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief JusticeBelle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where the film based on Dido Elizabeth Belle's life takes certain, ahem, liberties with her story, Paula Byrne's book is firmly planted in historical fact and therefore thin on material about Dido. However, the book does an excellent job of bringing to life Georgian England and the struggle to abolish the slave trade. Byrne's research is excellently done and she breathes fresh air into the people and the events. I thought the chapter detailing the boycott of sugar and rum by ordinary English middle-class housewives in protest of the horrific conditions on the Caribbean plantations was well done. This is the best kind of history: factual and highly readable.

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