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The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History by V. S. Naipaul - Paperback - Corrected Edition - September 2001 - from Books of the World (SKU: RWARE0000000639)

The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History

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The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History

by V. S. Naipaul

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About This Item

London: Pan MacMillan / Picador, September 2001. Trade Paperback. Corrected Edition. Second printing. Very Good. Text block tanned, but unmarked. Foxing to top edge. Spine straight, tight and uncreased. Covers clean and bright. Not from a library. No remainder mark. Not clipped. 376 pages.

"What I had known of Trinidad as a child had seemed to me ordinary, unplanned, just there, with nothing like a past. But the past was there: in the schoolyard, below the saman tree, we stood perhaps on the site of Dominique Cert's Bel-Air estate, where in 1803 the slave commandeur or headman, out of a twisted love for his master, had tried to poison the other slaves. More haunting than this was the thought of the vanished aborigines, on whose land and among whose spirits we all lived." It is the most human kind of history, done with a novelist's eye. Living characters large and small are rescued from the records and set in a larger, guiding narrative about the New World, empire, African slavery, revolution which is never less than gripping. There are two linked themes: the grinding down of the aborigines during the long rivalries of the foolish El Dorado quest; and then two hundred years later, in the man-made wilderness, the man-made horror of the new slave colony. The Caribbean slave plantations were thought at the time to be more brutal than the American, and this brilliantly researched book, with its accumulation of casual, awful detail, takes us as close as we can get to day-to-day life in the slave colony. Nothing gracious here, in spite of the various titles of nobility; only an opportunist, near-lawless community living on its nerves, always fearful of slave suicide or poison, of African sorcery and revolt, with the infamous Port of Spain jail, and its daily horrors (the planters paid the whipping and torture fees), always in the background, the only protection against chaos.


V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at Oxford he began to write, and since then he has followed no other profession. He is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction and the recipient of numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize in 2001, the Booker Prize in 1971, and a knighthood for services to literature in 1990. He lives in Wiltshire, England.


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Books of the World US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History
V. S. Naipaul
Trade Paperback
Book condition
Used - Very Good
Corrected Edition
Pan MacMillan / Picador
Place of Publication
Date Published
September 2001
history, colony, colonialism, empire, new world, plantation, slavery, slaves, Walter Raleigh, Caribbean, El Dorado, Orinoco, Guiana, Guyana, West Indies, South America, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela
Bookseller catalogs
History; Latin America; Britain; Caribbean; Guyana;

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Arlington, Virginia
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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Used to mean that the binding of a book has not been overly loosened by frequent use.
trade paperback
Used to indicate any paperback book that is larger than a mass-market paperback and is often more similar in size to a hardcover... [More]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
remainder mark
Usually an ink marking of some sort which indicates that the book was designated a remainder. In most cases, it can be found on... [More]
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"... [More]
text block
Most simply the inside pages of a book. More precisely, the block of paper formed by the cut and stacked pages of a book.... [More]

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