Life and Death in the Early Plantations
The Letters of Jean Mongin and Claude Bréban

Edited and translated by Michael Harrigan

Critical Texts 68

Modern Humanities Research Association

  April 2021

ISBN: 978-1-781889-01-5 (paperback)  •  RRP £12.99, $17.99, €14.99

ISBN: 978-1-781889-02-2 (JSTOR ebook)

EnlightenmentFrenchLetters


This is a bilingual French-English edition of correspondence relating to the theme of early French slavery. Mongin’s letters are an invaluable source of data about the early plantation environment. Bréban’s reflects the development of the more mature plantation society of the eighteenth century. He gives new perspectives on some of the themes discussed by Mongin, such as the reasons for the enslavement of Africans, and the question of what would be called ‘racial’ difference.

Both clerics testify to first-hand contacts between Europeans and slaves in the variable, unstable early plantation context. They also reflect wider theoretical concerns such as the extent of proprietary rights, the legitimacy of possessing the body, and the legitimacy of slavery itself. Their perspectives call into question the idea of a unified, homogenous, ‘colonial’ discourse.

Bibliography entry:

Edited, and translated by Michael Harrigan, Life and Death in the Early Plantations: The Letters of Jean Mongin and Claude Bréban, Critical Texts, 68 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2021)

First footnote reference: 35 Life and Death in the Early Plantations: The Letters of Jean Mongin and Claude Bréban, edited and translated by Michael Harrigan, Critical Texts, 68 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2021), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Edited and Harrigan, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Edited, and translated by Michael Harrigan. 2021. Life and Death in the Early Plantations: The Letters of Jean Mongin and Claude Bréban, Critical Texts, 68 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Edited and Harrigan 2021: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Edited and Harrigan 2021: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


Permanent link to this title: