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White Creole Women in the British West Indies: From Stereotype to Caricature

Description: Many researchers of gender studies and colonial history ignore the lives of European women in the British West Indies. The scarcity of written information combined with preconceived notions about the character of the women inhabiting the islands make this the "final frontier" in colonial studies on women. Over the long eighteenth century, travel literature by men reduced creole white women to a stereotype that endured in literature and visual representations. The writings of female authors, who also visited the plantation islands, display their opinions on the creole white women through their letters, diaries and journals. Male authors were preoccupied with the sexual morality of the women, whereas the female authors focus on the temperate lifestyles of the local females. The popular perceptions of the creole white women seen in periodicals, literature, and caricatures in Britain seem to follow this trend, taking for their sources the travel histories.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Northrop, Chloe Aubra
Partner: UNT Libraries