Repeating Islands

How did we miss this one? Fatal Revolutions: Natural History, West Indian Slavery, and the Routes of American Literature (UNC Press, 2012) is a new book by Christopher P. Iannini.

Description: Christopher P. Iannini’s Fatal revolutions: Natural history, West Indian slavery, and the routes of American literature, draws on letters, illustrations, engravings, and neglected manuscripts to connect two dramatic transformations in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world—the emergence and growth of the Caribbean plantation system and the rise of natural science. Iannini argues that these transformations were not only deeply interconnected, but that together they established conditions fundamental to the development of a distinctive literary culture in the early Americas. In fact, eighteenth-century natural history as a literary genre largely took its shape from its practice in the Caribbean, an oft-studied region that was a prime source of wealth for all of Europe and the Americas.

The formal evolution of…

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