By Madison Smartt Bell
During this first installment of his epic Haitian trilogy, Madison Smartt Bell brings to existence a decisive second within the background of race, classification, and colonialism. The slave rebellion in Haiti used to be a momentous contribution to the tide of revolution that swept over the Western global on the finish of the 1700s. A brutal uprising that strove to overturn a vicious method of slavery, the rebellion effectively remodeled Haiti from a ecu colony to the world’s first Black republic. From the heart of this awful maelstrom, the heroic determine of Toussaint Louverture–a unswerving, literate slave and both a religious Catholic and Vodouisant–emerges because the guy who will take the cruel fires of violence and vengeance and forge a innovative struggle fueled by liberty and equality.
Bell assembles a kaleidoscopic portrait of this seminal flow via a tableau of characters that surround black, white, male, girl, wealthy, terrible, unfastened and enslaved. Pulsing with marvelous aspect, All Soul’s Rising offers a visceral experience of the ache, terror, confusion, and triumph of revolution.
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Additional resources for All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti (Haitian Revolution Trilogy, Book 1)
Whatever their differences among themselves, white people were in a minority in Saint Domingue. In 1791 there were about thirty-nine thousand white people in the colony, twenty-seven thousand people of mixed blood, and four hundred and fifty-two thousand black slaves. The large mulatto population, descendants of white landowners and black slaves, had come into being because there had never been many white women in the colony, which had always attracted opportunists and entrepreneurs rather than settlers proper.
Doctor Hébert pressed a heel into his horse’s flank and rode around the pole. The citrus trees, more sparsely set, fanned out around the edges of the compound as though they had meant to encircle it but failed. What vegetation there was looked completely untrained and much of the yard was full of dust. From one of the scattered outbuildings, a deep-voiced dog was barking. The doctor rode within a few yards of the long low building which was the grand’case, dismounted and walked the remaining distance to the pair of wooden steps to the gallery, where a white woman in déshabille was sitting in a wooden chair with her head sunk down on her chest.
Outdoors the compound was also deserted, except for a pair of chickens picking gravel around the back, but the dog began barking when he passed its shed. The doctor’s temples tightened at the sound. In the stall the horse was nosing at the last scatter of a flake of hay. Doctor Hébert saddled and bridled it and gave it water at the trough. He had no appetite himself, and was eager to be gone. When the horse had drunk, he broke off another corner of sugar to give it. The horse took the sugar and then went on nuzzling and lipping the butt of his palm.