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Books

Only tourists think of the Caribbean as a ‘paradise’

A review of Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day, by Carrie Gibson. A vivid and thought-provoking synthesis of the disparate histories of the islands of the West Indies

28 June 2014

9:00 AM

28 June 2014

9:00 AM

Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day Carrie Gibson

Macmillan, pp.447, £25, ISBN: 9780230766174

A couple of years ago in Jamaica, I met Errol Flynn’s former wife, the screen actress Patrice Wymore. Reportedly a difficult and withdrawn woman, her life in the Caribbean (apart from the few details she cared to volunteer) could only be guessed at. The Errol Flynn estate, an expanse of ranchland outside Port Antonio, was grazed by tired-looking cattle.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £21.50. Tel: 08430 600033. Ian Thomson is the author of The Dead Yard: A Story of Modern Jamaica and Bonjour Blanc: a Journey through Haiti.

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