I have been asked for a list of good source material. Sadly, some of the books below are long out of print (I found them in the British Library) but a few of them might be available on abe.com. Here's the list:
The region - which includes Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana - is one of the most pristine and unspoilt in the world. Small wonder that a few giants have survived, including:-
Here are a few things that not even the Guyanese know about Guyana:
1. Georgetown (see picture) sits at around the same latitude as Sri Lanka. Both places were former Dutch colonies, and both became British possessions after the Napoleonic War.
Negotiations are on foot for the translation of my book, 'Wild Coast', into German. As it happens, two of the country's greatest explorers happen to have been German.
As far as I know, there was only one adventurer who visited both Guiana (as it was) and Newfoundland during the age of discovery.
During the Second World War, both places became part of defence network designed to safeguard the USA. It all began on 2 September 1940, when Washington signed the ‘Destroyers for Bases Agreement’, under which it would provide Britain with fifty WWI-vintage destroyers in return for a foothold in her colonies.
This is the Wales Sugar Estate factory, near Georgetown, Guyana. The smell of boiling sugar cane is overwhelming, and - in the short term - delicious. One of the by-products, bubbling away, is molasses.
In these posts I have often written about written about the horrors of slavery in the Guianas. What is less well-known is the form of slavery that existed at the same time among white people up in Labrador. Some may be unhappy with the comparison, and, it's true, the Labradorians didn't arrive in chains, were notionally free to leave whenever they wanted.
What is the connection between chilly Labrador (in Canada), and the steamy tropical world of Guyana? Well, more than you'd imagine. I'll be exploring their shared history over the next few posts.
SLAVERY'S LEGACY. In this series comparing the movie '12 Years a Slave' with the experience of Guyana and Suriname. In the film, there is no end in sight for slavery, no redemption and no justice.