Place and Imprint: London: Whittaker, Treacher, 1834.
Edition: Second edition, published the year following the first.
Bibliographical References: Sabin 10937; Ragatz, Guide for the Study of British Caribbean History, page 221; Colbert, Women Travel Writers, 1780-1840; Robinson, pages 297-298.
Condition: Bindings and labels worn; a good copy in original state.
Book ID: 28022
Physical Description2 vols, 12mo, original brown quarter cloth, drab boards and printed paper labels. One leaf of publisher's between the front free endpaper and the title-page.
CommentsA "remarkably unsentimental" (Robinson) account of life in St. Vincent and Trinidad between the years 1820 to 1826, where Alison Carmichael (circa 1790-1885) lived with her husband, John Carmichael, a Scottish plantation owner. “Domestic Manners provides detailed if unsystematic descriptions of plantation life in St Vincent and Trinidad, the landscape, architecture, religious institutions, and administration of the islands, as well as the author’s perception of the customs and manners of the black, white and coloured peoples. Her prime concern, freely expressed, is to combat what she regards as the false and erroneous picture given by abolitionist writers and politicians of the treatment of slaves in the West Indian colonies, and to show from personal experience the ‘true’ practices and motives of plantation-owners (‘no class of men on earth more calumniated’, 1.16). She repeatedly guarantees the authenticity of her facts by assurances that they are grounded on direct observation, insisting that ‘I shall not attempt to describe any thing as fact to which I have not been an eye witness' ” – Karina Williamson, “Mrs. Carmichael, A Scotswoman in the West Indies,” International Journal of Scottish Literature (No. 4, 2008). But Mrs. Carmichael was wrong about the good life for Africans in the West Indies, and in 1826 she and her husband returned to Scotland after uprisings in Trinidad made it unsafe to live there. Domestic Manners went through several editions.