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Mr Atkinson’s Rum Contract: The Story of a Tangled Inheritance

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The youngest son in a line of Westmorland tanners, he became a merchant and profiteer, a director of the East India Company, an MP, an Alderman of the City of London, a disappointed lover, a slave owner, and the posthumous initiator of the most almighty family feud. As another review described, at the moment, this is an extensive family record as opposed to something for a wider audience. The broad range of the topics covered above makes this a really enlightening and intereresting book, in a way that if one pigeon holed the book into any single themes above would reduce its appeal to the broader population and likely annoy the true specialist in a given theme. Not a dry book of historical facts but a lively, entertaining and absorbing story of a world long past.

I would compare this to Mank the film which at over two hours is rather imposing but if you battle through the first 20 minutes of the latter, so say first 30 odd pages of this tome, you are set fair and onto a damn good thing. Drawing on his ancestors’ private correspondence, Richard Atkinson pieces together their unsettling story, from the weather-beaten house in Cumbria where they once lived to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica. New Paperbacks NEW PAPERBACKS [jsb_filter_by_tags count="15" show_more="10" sort_by="total_products"/] A selection of recent paperbacks. Demonstrates how constitutions evolved in tandem with warfare, and how they have functioned to advance empire as well as promote nations, and worked to exclude as well as liberate. Indeed reading this today with some current actual controversies in the foreground (eg PPE sourcing, the rich getting richer and lining each others' pockets, government borrowing) are very much retreads of earlier crises (eg provisioning the American war of independence, Rotten Boroughs, government borrowing).

Part social history (C18th marriage and romance between aristocracy and commerce, the end of plantations and slavery in Jamaica, how would you feel to find slave owners and traders were your forebears?

Perennials PERENNIALS constant friends A selection of novels, memoirs and more by some of our favourite authors. Remarkable … A three-dimensional portrait, not just of Richard Atkinson MP but his world – nefarious, buccaneering, amoral, but also containing a genuine love story… Family history can become an obsession and often a bore. By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. This was an enjoyable read, with the author digging into the archives of his family to paint a portrait of Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The rum comes from Jamaica where the Atkinsons had a couple of plantations and one goes on a moving journey with the author at the end as he visits the island where his family had slaves. The author adds background interest to the story by detailing the campaign in Britain to first of all outlaw the importation of slaves to the British Empire, and then some 27 years later, to abolish the institution of slavery itself. The author, a distant kinsman of Richard 'rum' Atkinson, inherited a box of letters and started digging into his family history - and we are lucky that he has the knack of writing wonderfully readable prose. Brilliant book telling a wide ranging history, warts and all of one family, but actually of so much more.

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