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Matthew Lewis is best remembered as the author of the sensational Gothic novel The Monk. He was also a slave-owner, inheriting two large plantations and making two visits to Jamaica to investigate the living and working conditions of his slaves. His anecdotal record, the Journal of a West India Proprietor, offers a vivid account of plantation life from the slave owner's perspective. This edition provides full contextual background and includes Lewis' verse narrative The Isle of Devils, as well as a telling last letter and extract from his papers.
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Although best known as a playwright and novelist, Matthew 'Monk' Lewis (1775-1818) was also a Member of Parliament and had inherited estates in Jamaica. This posthumously published Journal is the record of his visits there, and of his attempts to improve the welfare of slaves.About the Author:
Judith Terry is Senior Instructor in the English Department at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.
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