Chapter

History on the Wild Coast

Peter Redfield

in Space in the Tropics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780520219847
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923423 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520219847.003.0002
History on the Wild Coast

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This chapter describes various facts and experiences of travellers about a place in Brazil, French Guiana, referred to as “wild coast,” beginning with the story of Sir Walter Ralegh, who was a noted sailor and had another small wooden ship bobbing off to sea after Columbus. Most popular renderings of French Guiana history begin with El Dorado, and the reference runs through the accounts of several centuries. The French zone of the Guianas lay slightly to the side of Ralegh's adventuring and the legendary location of Manoa; the sense of richness in the land struck powerful chords. As plunder and mining came to the Wild Coast, so did agriculture and the productive reformation of nature. Yet in recounting the plantation history of French Guiana, one must stress that the region continually languished at the edge of France's first colonial empire.

Keywords: Wild coast; French Guiana; Sir Walter Ralegh; Columbus; plantation history; colonial empire

Chapter.  7787 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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