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The Representation Of Slaves And Slavery In The Writing Of The Natural History Of The West Indies During The Early Modern Centuries: French And English Contributions Compared

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Chapter Summary

The texts to which this chapter refers were composed by French and English authors principally in the context of writing Natural Histories of the West Indies, and examines these works sequentially the ultimate intention is to compare French with English appraisals of the phenomenon of slavery. Spaniards (and some Portuguese) authors were the first to respond to the demand for answers to the philosophical questions that the so called 'Discoveries' posed for Europeans. Jean Baptiste du Tertre had been a missionary in the Antilles between 1641 and 1654, and had kept detailed notes and illustrations of his work there but it was probably the polemical imperative that forced him to publish fifteen years after he had returned to France from the West Indies.

Keywords: English authors; Europeans; French authors; Jean Baptiste du Tertre; Natural Histories; slavery; West Indies



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