A History of St Lucia

Author(s): Jolien Harmsen, Guy Ellis, Robert Devaux

“A History of St Lucia is the first-ever detailed and comprehensive record of St Lucia’s turbulent past. Beginning with the island’s geological formation and subsequent Amerindian occupation, this book takes one through colonization by France and England to the rise and fall of the sugar industry, the tribulations of slavery, the feverish hopes and fears of the Brigand Wars and, eventually, Emancipation. After 1838, St Lucia’s newly freed people went in search of independence, dignity and respectability: an era marked by the immigration of indentured workers from Barbados, Africa and India, the rise of a peasantry, and a labouring class in search of new horizons. The arduous battle with ‘Mr Hard Times’ formed fertile soil for a hard-fought coming of age in the 20th century when unions and political parties developed amidst the turmoil of two World Wars and a city’s Death by Fire. Forcing King Sugar to his knees paved the way to a new St Lucia, built on the ‘green gold’ of the banana industry- an era which in many ways came to an end in 2007 with the passing of the architect of independence, Sir John Compton”