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Title: The power of words in nineteenth-century jails : British colonial Mauritius, 1835 - 87
Authors: Anderson, Clare
First Published: 23-Dec-2013
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor & Francis)
Citation: Anderson, C, The power of words in nineteenth-century jails : British colonial Mauritius, 1835-87, ed. Paisley, F; Reid, KM, 'Critical perspectives on colonialism: writing the empire from below', Routledge, 2013, pp. 199 - 218
Abstract: In this chapter, I explore speech and writing in British colonial prisons, to focus on how officials and prisoners used spoken words and written texts in particular ways, for particular purposes and with particular effects. I begin with a discussion of a major report on prison discipline in the colonies, which made a series of wide-ranging geographical investigations into thirty-three colonies across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and the Indian Ocean, 1864-5. But the main focus of the pages that follow is Mauritius, for its jails were especially interesting during this period. The colony had been undergoing rapid social and demographic change since the abolition of slavery and the successor apprenticeship system, in 1835 and 1839 respectively, and planters introduced Indian and Chinese labourers under contracts of indenture to replace slaves on the sugar plantations. Gradually, Indians began to overtake slaves, ex-slaves and their descendents as the majority population, so that by 1871 they constituted more than two-thirds of the population. Of further relevance is the island’s history as a French colony captured by the British during the Napoleonic Wars, in 1810. Jails were spaces that reflected this history and demography, and in which people from diverse places and cultures, and speaking different languages, came together in close proximity.
ISBN: 9780415537384
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © 2013, Routledge (Taylor & Francis).
Description: The file associated with this record is embargoed while permission to archive is sought from the publisher. The final published version may be available through the links above.
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Historical Studies

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