7 - 8 April 2004
[MARSDEN, Peter]. An Account of the Island of Jamaica; with Reflections on the Treatment, Occupation, and Provisions of the Slaves. To which is added A Description of the Animal and Vegetable Productions of the Island. Newcastle: printed for the Author by S. Hodgson, 1788.
8° (222 x 138mm). Advertisement leaf, list of subscribers. (Very minor marginal tear to advertisement leaf, very slight offsetting.) Uncut in original blue wrappers (lacking spine). Modern slipcase.
The only edition of Marsden's fascinating account of Jamaica, by 'a Gentleman lately resident on a Plantation'. Whilst the work comprises an account of the treatment of slaves and a call for the abolition of slavery, it also provides a detailed record of the island itself. Marsden spent a year on the Rhimesbury plantation in Clarendon, owned by Mr Ward. His account includes descriptions of Jago de la Vega, Port Royal and Kingston, a detailed account of life on a sugar plantation and of 'a dreadful hurricane which happened in the night of the 31st of July 1784.' The latter part of the work comprises a description of native flora and fauna and of the vegetation cultivated on the island. From the list of subscribers it would appear that only 188 copies were issued. Sabin 44717; Cundall, Bibliographia Jamaicensis 280.
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