These last minute Christmas gift ideas could also work for the New Year’s sales (let’s see if the price goes down) or birthdays. As a side note, I’m expanding my blog from primarily food and travel into other areas that inspire: interiors, craft, politics, design, fashion and history.
Blood Legacy by Alex Renton £12.76 hardback (Canongate books)
A few years ago I was invited to the Fortnum & Mason food writing awards and I took my upstairs neighbour Karen Campbell with me. She got chatting to writer Alex Renton, down from Edinburgh, about her Scottish Jamaican (and Chinese)ancestry. In the ensuing years, Alex wrote this book about his family’s connections to the slave trade in the Caribbean. He admits that, as an old Etonian, as the son of a Baron and MP, he comes from privilege, but he doesn’t flinch from looking at the question of his family’s responsibility for the slave trade and the resultant wealth. Renton spends time in the Caribbean, visiting an abandoned familial plantation on Tobago and the profitable ‘Rozelle’ on Jamaica where his ancestors cashed in. During the Caribbean sugar boom, every adventurous young man of means had a go at making a fortune and the inhumanity of the slave trade was largely ignored. This part of British history (and let’s be specific, Scottish history) has been buried. It wasn’t just the English who were the baddies.