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'Captives in plantations: British prisoners of war and visions of slavery in Napoleonic France and Mauritius'

Duché, Elodie (2017) 'Captives in plantations: British prisoners of war and visions of slavery in Napoleonic France and Mauritius'. French History and Civilization, 7. pp. 108-124.

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Abstract

Inspired by the emerging prisoner of war studies and new ambitions to write a global history of the Napoleonic conflicts, this article explores the neglected colonial ties that underpinned Franco-British contacts in war captivity during the period. British prisoners held in Napoleonic France recurrently invoked slavery in letters, memoirs and poems penned about their detention. Despite their relative comfort, which enabled such writings, these captives narrated their experiences through the prism of colonial servitude, a much-debated topic in Britain at the time. These views were nourished by their relations with the French: the exchange of books with locals, and their exposure to plantation life in colonial outposts such as Mauritius (then known as Île de France). These captives’ reflections offer an insight into their global outlook, and the trans-imperial nature of war captivity itself, as a space of colonial intersection, not only reflecting but also shaping ideas about coerced mobility.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DC France
D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1949

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