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The Atlantic Trade and British Architecture, Art and Landscape 1740-1840
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The Atlantic Trade and British Architecture, Art and Landscape 1740-1840 (Hardback)

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2007 marked the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain and its former Empire and was the catalyst for a growing interest in the effect of slavery's profits on Britain itself. The Atlantic Trade and British Architecture, Art and Landscape 1740-1840 draws on a wide variety of primary sources - including state records, plantation accounts, private letters, travel diaries, recipe books, buildings, sketches and paintings - to show that wealth amassed from slave-trading, Caribbean sugar plantations and the tobacco trade transformed eighteenth century British visual culture and created an aesthetic legacy that is still apparent on both sides of the Atlantic. The book argues that wealth from the trans-Atlantic plantation trade had a profound effect on Britain; creating a shift in power and influence towards the Atlantic that was marked by a new attitude to the remote, uplands of western Britain. Indeed, wealth from the transatlantic plantation trade allowed cold, rain-sodden hills to be 're-imagined' as landscape art and to become tourist destinations: 'Snowdonia', 'The Lakes' and 'The Highlands.' Moreover, the patronage of planting and trading families including the Gilpins, Beckfords and Jeffersons ensured that the concept of 'natural scenery' became a means to celebrate colonial settlement in the Caribbean and, eventually, the newly-formed United States of America.

Victoria Perry is a Teaching Fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, UK.

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