Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar
Allen & Unwin, 2002 - 190 pages
This social and historical exploration traces the history of sugarcane from its home in New Guinea to Shakespeare’s England. Fascinating sugar lore and anecdotes are included, such as how Queen Elizabeth I became so partial to hippocras (mulled wine), sugared almonds, and pastilles that her teeth turned completely black. Explored are the political and sociological impacts of sugar on the world and the tremendous riches available to the unscrupulous few who grew and sold it. The days of manual processing are described, when fortunes were built on the backbreaking labor of slaves. The resulting wars and geopolitical shifts that have shaped the modern world are discussed in detail.
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Page 75 - L'OUVERTURE. TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy man of men ! Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough Within thy hearing, or thy head be now Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den ; — O miserable Chieftain ! where and when Wilt thou find patience ? Yet die not; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow : Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee ; air, earth, and skies There 's not a breathing of the common...
Page 34 - The experience of all ages and nations, I believe, demonstrates that the work done by slaves, though it appears to cost only their maintenance, is in the end the dearest of any.
Page 45 - Age, as we were told, very majestic ; her Face oblong, fair, but wrinkled ; her Eyes small, yet black and pleasant ; her Nose a little heoked ; her Lips narrow, and her Teeth black ; (a defect the English seem subject to, from their too great use of sugar) she had in her Ears two pearls, with very rich drops ; she wore false Hair, and that red...
Page 104 - I spoke to a borough-jobber, and offered five and twenty hundred pounds for a secure seat in Parliament ; but he laughed at my offer, and said, that there was no such thing as a borough to be had now, for that the rich Blast and West Indians had secured them all, at the rate of three thousand pounds at least ; but many at four thousand, and two or three that he knew, at five thousand.
Page 127 - Quashee will not honestly aid in bringing-out those sugars, cinnamons and nobler products of the West-Indian Islands, for the benefit of all mankind, then I say neither will the Powers permit Quashee to continue growing pumpkins there for his own lazy benefit; but will shear him out, by and by, like a lazy gourd overshadowing rich ground ; him and all that partake with him, — perhaps in a very terrible manner. For, under favour of Exeter Hall, the
Page 55 - The slaves and their posterity, being subject to their Masters for ever, are kept and...
Page 127 - I apprehend they will, as a preliminary, resolutely refuse to permit the Black man any privilege whatever of pumpkins till he agree for work in return. Not a square inch of soil in those fruitful Isles, purchased by British blood, shall any Black man hold to grow pumpkins for him, except on terms that are fair towards Britain. Fair ; see that they be not unfair, not towards ourselves, and still more, not towards him. For injustice...
Page 75 - L'ouverture Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men! Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough Within thy hearing, or thy head be now Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den; O miserable Chieftain! where and when Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow; Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live, and take comfort.