Early Creole Novels in English Before 1850: Hamel, the Obeah Man and Warner Arundell: The Adventures of a Creole

  • Candace Ward
  • Tim Watson
Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)


This essay focuses on a group of novels set in (and displaying significant local knowledge of) Britain’s West Indian colonies at a moment of tremendous change, the decades leading up to and years immediately following Emancipation: Montgomery; or, the West-Indian Adventurer (1812–13), Hamel, the Obeah Man (1827), Marly; or, A Planter’s Life in Jamaica (1828), Warner Arundell: The Adventures of a Creole (1938), and Creoleana (1842). Given these novels’ sympathetic identification with white creole culture, they pose an interesting conundrum for Caribbean scholars alert to the skewed representations of West Indian life in the period of slavery, but who also may be keen to see them as part, or even as inaugural texts, of a specifically Caribbean literary tradition. By focusing on two particular novels, Hamel and Warner Arundell, the essay explores the implications of the history- and fiction-making capacities of these texts and what they have to say about the textual production of authority during the period of Emancipation in the Caribbean, as well as their influence on such production today.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Candace Ward
    • 1
  • Tim Watson
    • 2
  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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