Slavery

Slaves dealing in slavery, Sugar Money reviewed

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Jane Harris’s novels often focus on the disenfranchised: a maid in The Observations, a woman reduced by spinsterhood in the…

Benjamin Lay (American School, 18th century)

The first revolutionary abolitionist: a biography of the Quaker dwarf Benjamin Lay

16 September 2017 9:00 am

It is a pretty safe bet that for every 1,000 people who know of William Wilberforce, no more than the…

A glamour model’s exotic tale of abduction – and slavery’s sad truth

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Do you believe Chloe Ayling? She is the 20-year-old glamour model whose dramatic story has been all over the newspapers…

Must Edward Colston fall?

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Bristol’s struggle with the legacy of a slaver

Queen Victoria and the slave’s daughter

15 July 2017 9:00 am

When Martha Ann Ricks was 76 she travelled from her home in Liberia to London to meet Queen Victoria. The…

The newly refurbished National Army Museum is full of inaccuracies and post-colonial guilt

3 June 2017 9:00 am

I used to love the National Army Museum in Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, which was crammed with the memorabilia of…

Maipure Indians, inhabitants of the Upper Orinoco, grill the limbs of a dead enemy (Italian engraving, 1781)

Eating people is rare (and very unhealthy)

4 February 2017 9:00 am

The subject has been popularised from Homer to the Brothers Grimm, but, mercifully, human cannibalism has always been rare, says Philip Hensher

Children in Rose Town in 2008, one of the poorest areas of Kingston, Jamaica , with one of the highest crime rates in the world

The hellish paradise of the Caribbean

21 January 2017 9:00 am

‘Short of writing a thesis in many volumes,’ Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote in his preface to The Traveller’s Tree, ‘only…

Zadie Smith’s latest dance to the music of time

5 November 2016 9:00 am

Zadie Smith explores themes of identity, freedom, rhythm and time with much skill and grace, says Ruth Scurr

An 1850 engraving of slaves fleeing from Maryland to Delaware by way of the Underground Railroad

America’s slaves and the Underground Railroad

15 October 2016 9:00 am

It is difficult to write well about slavery. As with the Holocaust, the subject’s horrific nature lends itself too easily…

Seen the film? Now read the book: The Free State of Jones

1 October 2016 9:00 am

In The Cousins’ War (1999), the Republican political strategist Kevin Phillips argued that three ‘civil wars’ had defined politics in…

We, too, are America: children and members of the San Francisco chapter of the National Council of Negro Women at a voter registration motorcade, 1956

How helpful is it for America to have a museum dedicated to African American culture?

24 September 2016 9:00 am

‘A fool’s errand’. That is how Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and…

Striking camp in Canada, March 1820

Annie Proulx is lost in the woods

4 June 2016 9:00 am

You can’t see the wood for the trees in Annie Proulx’s epic novel of logging and deforestation in North America, says Philip Hensher

HMS Agamemnon lays the first Atlantic telegraph cable between Trinity Bay and Valentia Island

The 1850s: a dizzying decade of boom and bust

26 March 2016 9:00 am

We can all identify decades in which the world moved forward. Wars are not entirely negative experiences: the social and…

The sophisticates are wrong about Cleveland, Ohio

29 October 2015 9:00 am

To Cleveland, Ohio, where middle America’s middle class begins its great Midwest sprawl. I’ve always wanted to visit Cleveland because…

Escape Antigua’s tourists (but be ready to confront some grim secrets)

22 August 2015 9:00 am

‘Tourism, tourism and tourism,’ said my Antiguan cab driver, when I asked what the country’s main industries were. Still, it’s…

‘The Discovery of the Large, Rich, Beautiful Empire called Guiana’, from ‘Newe Weld un Americanische Historien’, by Johann Ludwig Gottfried, 1631

The strange history of Willoughbyland, modern-day Suriname

8 August 2015 9:00 am

John Gimlette on the strange and superbly told story of Willoughbyland, England’s ‘lost’ colony

From ambrosia to zabaglione — now with added slavery

13 June 2015 9:00 am

This Oxford Companion ranges from the sweet to the decidedly salty, while being the most politically correct reference book you will ever consult, says Paul Levy

An idealised view of a cotton plantation beside the Mississippi, c. 1880

The turbulent reign of King Cotton: the dark history of one of the world’s most important commodities

10 January 2015 9:00 am

If not for cotton, we would still be wearing wool. To equal current cotton production, we would need seven billion…

Slaves planting cane cuttings in Antigua, 1823, by William Clark

Only tourists think of the Caribbean as a ‘paradise’

28 June 2014 9:00 am

A couple of years ago in Jamaica, I met Errol Flynn’s former wife, the screen actress Patrice Wymore. Reportedly a…

The starchy, conservative lawyer who freed every slave in England

14 June 2014 8:00 am

Slavery was ended in England not through blood and glory, but by the common law

How Plato and Aristotle would have tackled unemployment

24 May 2014 9:00 am

Labour is up in arms because many of the new jobs currently being created are among the self-employed. This seems…

Spectator letters: Slavery continues to this day; and why Russia’s re-emergence as a world power is down to Obama’s apathy

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Slavery isn’t over Sir: I was alarmed to read Taki’s piece in this week’s High Life (8 March) which claimed…

Where to open your brothel: an international comparison

8 March 2014 9:00 am

The best places to open a brothel The Commons all-party group on prostitution has called for a Scandinavian-style law where…

What 12 Years a Slave gets wrong – and The Book Thief gets right

8 March 2014 9:00 am

Damn, damn, damn! It has to be me, and all these years I’ve been thinking it was Hollywood. By the…