Includes bibliographical references (pages -432) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
The pioneers. White gold, 1642 -- The first settlements, 1605-41 -- The sugar revolution: 'so noble an undertaking' -- The sugar revolution: 'most inhuman and barbarous persons' -- The plantation: masters and slaves -- The English civil war in Barbados -- The plantation: life and death -- Cromwell's 'western design': disaster in Hispaniola -- The invasion of Jamaica -- The grandees. The restoration -- Expansion, war and the rise of the Beckfords -- 'All slaves are enemies' -- The cousins Henry Drax and Christopher Codrington -- God's vengeance -- The planter at war: Codrington in the Leeward islands -- The French invasion of Jamaica -- Codrington the younger in the West Indies -- The murder of Daniel Parke -- The Beckfords: the next generation -- Piracy and rum -- The maroon war in Jamaica and the war of Jenkins's ear -- Barbados, the 'civilised island' -- Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica" 'tonight very lonely and melancholy again' -- Jamaica: rich and poor -- The sugar lobby -- The inheritors. Luxury and debt -- The war against America -- The West Indian 'Nabobs': absenteeism, decadence and decline -- Peace and freedom.
Historian Matthew Parker discusses the history behind one of the greatest power struggles of the 17th to 19th centuries as Europeans made and lost immense fortunes growing and trading in sugar--a commodity so lucrative it became known as "white gold'--in the tiny Caribbean islands of Barbados, Jamaica, and the Leeward Islands.