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Children of Uncertain Fortune
Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833
Cloth: 978-1-4696-3443-2 ($45.00)
University of North Carolina Press
In this brilliant model of Atlantic history, Daniel Livesay gracefully brings to life the extraordinary, sometimes heartbreaking stories of mixed-race Caribbean people in Great Britain, revealing the long, complicated lines of family and belonging, race and alienation. This lucid and deeply researched book compellingly illuminates slavery, empire, and colonialism and their enduring impact on individuals, families, and nations.
--Sarah M. S. Pearsall
Children of Uncertain Fortune offers an unprecedented view of how elite Jamaicans and Britons came to distinguish between mixed-race and white kin. Daniel Livesay uncovers the conflicting stories families told as they constructed or challenged these concepts that would eventually define the social identities of millions of imperial subjects.
--John D. Garrigus, University of Texas at Arlington
In this tour de force, Daniel Livesay eloquently explores what confronted the mixed-race progeny of enslaved or free African Jamaican women and white men from the island’s planter class who relocated to Britain in the century before the Emancipation Act. The author’s exhaustive research unearthed hundreds of such individuals, and his astute analysis of their circumstances chronicles the increasingly adverse effects wrought by deep and inexorable shifts in the meanings of race and family. Children of Uncertain Fortune tells a quintessentially Atlantic world story of racist ideologies trumping kinship affinities, as its author points the way to exciting new directions for scholarly investigation.
--Roderick A. McDonald, Rider University; editor, Early American Studies