Stedman's Surinam Life in an Eighteenth Century Slave

Stedman's Surinam Life in an Eighteenth Century Slave Society An Abridged Modernized Edition of Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam “Narrative of a Five Years Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam” is a chronological travel account that achieved fame as an indictment of Caribbean slave society The text is based on Stedman’s handwritten journals where he recorded his experiences during his time as a professional soldier in colonial Suriname The book’s influence was effectively summed up by the Analytical Review “It will be impossible to peruse the numerous relations of shocking cruelties and barbarities in these volumes without a degree of painful sympathy which will often rise into horror” 51 The discovery of an earlier manuscript from 1790 prompted editors Richard and Sally Price to transcribe a rendering truthful to Stedman’s original The editors worked with the manuscript and made only minor grammatical changes Their transcription showed that the 1796 version was published with significant editorial changes These changes altered aspects of Stedman’s experiences and social commentary 33 The Prices spend ample time in the lengthy introduction deconstructing alterations between the 1790 and 1796 versions They give examples of ways the narrative was changed to make it “less radical and pro slavery” 50 In their view Stedman’s relatively moderate views on slavery lend authority to the written descriptions of events he witnessed firsthand 2 The 1790 edition clarifies Stedman’s observations on slave life and the relationships between slaves and mastersA key difference between the 1790 and the 1796 editions is the downplayed role of Joanna causing a “major transformation” with repercussions for the narrative as a whole 15 The edits and rewrites emphasized social distance between Stedman and Joanna and repeatedly stressed ineuality between their positions The Prices’ edition offers readers Stedman’s actual characterization of Joanna and her impactful place in his narrativeFaithful transcription of the original manuscript gives proper context to understandings of slavery and society in 18th century Suriname and makes this edition a valuable contribution to the field não me lembro de nenhum momento em ue um professor de história tenha criticado os gloriosos Descobrimentos obras como esta ou fragmentos dela deveriam ser obrigatoriamente estudadas uando se estudam os momentos coloniais as parábolas dos peixes apesar de magistrais pecam em impactoStedman é um homem do seu tempo e o seu tempo nos espaços onde a civilização colocava a pútrida pata fedia em abundância e tem culpas no cartório mas tem um bom coração e uma mente ue uestiona a sua narrativa resulta dura dolorosa mas essencial o discurso entre Stedman e o chefe dos rebeldes é um acontecimento prodigioso This abridgment of the Prices' acclaimed 1988 critical edition is based on Stedman's original handwritten manuscript which offers a portrait at considerable variance with the 1796 classic The unexpurgated text presented here with extensive notes and commentary constitutes one of the richest and most evocative accounts ever written of colonial life—and one of the strongest indictments ever to appear against New World slavery

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