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Mr Atkinson’s Rum Contract: The Story of a Tangled Inheritance

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It seems appropriate, as we enter the 19th century, that the second half of the book should read like the proceedings of Jarndyce v Jarndyce in Dickens’s Bleak House. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. The rum comes from Jamaica where the Atkinsons had a couple of plantations and one goes on a moving journey with the author at the end as he visits the island where his family had slaves.

This is real history, not from the top down or bottom up but from deep inside the heart of living individuals whose stories are all too human. Dip Into NEW PAPERBACKS [jsb_filter_by_tags count="15" show_more="10" sort_by="total_products"/] A selection of recent paperbacks.The author's namesake is some mover and shaker whether it be Government contracts to supply the redcoats battling George Washington with rum one of the much needed supplies or domestic political shenanigans battling Fox and co. This extraordinarily original work of detective biography is also a uniquely personal account of one of the most disturbing chapters in Britain’s colonial past. The timing of this book intrigues; had it been published even a month later, I wonder if Atkinson’s publishers would have asked him to address this shameful legacy more directly.

As ubiquitous as her admirer, Lindsay appears everywhere: we find her entertaining Dr Johnson at dinner, philosophising with David Hume in Edinburgh, and embarking on a European jaunt with Maria Fitzherbert, mistress to the Prince of Wales. The author, a distant kinsman of Richard 'rum' Atkinson, inherited a box of letters and started digging into his family history - and we are lucky that he has the knack of writing wonderfully readable prose. The broad range of the topics covered above makes this a really enlightening and intereresting book, in a way that if one pigeon holed the book into any single themes above would reduce its appeal to the broader population and likely annoy the true specialist in a given theme. From the author's own investigations into his family history, to getting a new and absolutely unique perspective on history (the American revolution and slavery in particular) I was thrilled. The paperwork that he produced and generated was mind-numbing; it’s no wonder Atkinson had to give up his day job.I’m particularly embarrassed to have chosen to read this for Black History Month, although in my defence I had hoped it might help with my WIP which touches on the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade in Cumbria, where the Atkinson family has its roots. very well written story of the rise of the Richard Atkinson and then the demise of the great fortune he made - as well as a good tale, it is also a portrait of the country at a time of massive change with lots of familiar characters.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. This was an enjoyable read, with the author digging into the archives of his family to paint a portrait of Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries.Of particular interest was the author’s account of various of his ancestors who ran sugar plantations (with sizable numbers of African slaves) on the island of Jamaica. Friends with the merchant banker Francis Baring and the prime minister Pitt the Younger, he negotiated his way around every drawing room, every boardroom, every battlefield and every bank. Also fascinating given the increasing acknowledgement of the role or slavery in the development of the UK and the author faces that head on, and it gives it a contemporary resonance.

One of the things I found most compelling was the way the author pieces together the story of his ancestors, their loves, ambitions and weaknesses, and gets to know them, as we do, through the book. Still, what it does do is drive home how many perfectly average middle-class families in Britain today have benefited from the slave trade. New Paperbacks NEW PAPERBACKS [jsb_filter_by_tags count="15" show_more="10" sort_by="total_products"/] A selection of recent paperbacks. He was such a dynamic personality, such an incurable optimist, and it seemed unthinkable that he would no longer be present in this story.

The boards, binding and text block are all square, tight and clean, the dust jacket has light marks on the back panel. Drawing on his ancestors’ private correspondence, Richard Atkinson pieces together their unsettling story, from the weather-beaten house in Cumbria where they once lived to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica. This book is a detailed history of Richard Atkinson's family, including much about its slave owning past in Jamaica. Rum’ Atkinson died young, at the height of his powers, leaving a vast inheritance to his many nephews and nieces, as well as the society beauty who had refused his proposal of marriage; forty years of litigation followed as his heirs wrangled over his legacy. Lightly written - in a good way - makes this a decent page turner going through the various interlocking themes above.

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