‘Prejudice’ Exposed? Jane Austen’s Links to Slavery ‘Interrogated’Historians in the News
tags: slavery, literature, Jane Austen, English literature, Caribbean history
Historians are spilling the tea over Jane Austen’s connections with slave plantations.
A museum dedicated to the “Pride & Prejudice” author, located at her old home in the Hampshire village of Chawton, is reportedly investigating the Austen family’s place in “Regency era colonialism,” as evidenced by Austen’s love of tea, clothing and other refinements.
Before father George Austen was a clergyman of a local parish, he was a trustee of an Antigua sugar plantation, where slaves from Africa worked the fields to cultivate the prized ingredient that would be part of the Austens’ tea habit.
Introduced to the West by way of China, tea became an English obsession by the early 19th century, particularly once they learned how to grow crops of their own throughout territories in India, Sri Lanka and Africa.
Austen’s penchant for cotton clothing — more “products of empire” — is also said to be a sign of her family’s connection to plantations in the Caribbean.
The director of Jane Austen’s House museum, Lizzie Dunford, told the Telegraph that they intend to spotlight this little-discussed aspect of Austen’s personal story.
“This is just the start of a steady and considered process of historical interrogation,” said Dunford.
comments powered by Disqus
- Josh Hawley Earns F in Early American History
- Does Germany's Holocaust Education Give Cover to Nativism?
- "Car Brain" Has Long Normalized Carnage on the Roads
- Hawley's Use of Fake Patrick Henry Quote a Revealing Error
- Health Researchers Show Segregation 100 Years Ago Harmed Black Health, and Effects Continue Today
- Nelson Lichtenstein on a Half Century of Labor History
- Can America Handle a 250th Anniversary?
- New Research Shows British Industrialization Drew Ironworking Methods from Colonized and Enslaved Jamaicans
- The American Revolution Remains a Hotly Contested Symbolic Field
- Untangling Fact and Fiction in the Story of a Nazi-Era Brothel