New Book: “Ireland, Slavery and the Caribbean”

[Many thanks to the Caribbean Studies Association for sharing this item in their newsletter.] Edited by Finola O’Kane and Ciarán O’Neill, Ireland, slavery and the Caribbean: Interdisciplinary perspectives (Manchester University Press) will be out on April 29, 2023.

Description: Ireland, slavery and the Caribbean draws together a diverse group of contributors to explore the many and varied ways in which Ireland and the Caribbean share an interlocking Atlantic history. Irish identities stretched from indentured servants to great planters, and Irishmen were also subversive players in British imperial contexts.

The Caribbean was the crucible of Atlantic slavery and the plantation system that sustained it, and this shared history is not always a comfortable one. Reluctant subjects of the first English empire, Irish people nevertheless enslaved others from 1620-1830 and were often at the cutting edge of extractive colonialism. Frequently inhabiting a convenient grey area between empires, Irish merchants and enslavers operated within the Danish, Spanish and French empires as well as the British empire. With many Irish people first experiencing colonialism at home, this opens a series of unusual avenues and rich ironies for the contributors to untangle and interrogate.

Building on the sterling work of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership Project at University College London, as well as the pioneering scholarship of Nini Rodgers, this collection brings together the work of literary scholars, architectural historians, historians of colonialism, and art historians. The result is a novel exploration of the deep and complex relationship between two Island archipelagos in the 1620-1830 period of peak colonialism.

For more information, see,, and

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