The British Transatlantic Slave Trade (4 vols.). Edited by KENNETH MORGAN, ROBIN LAW, JOHN OLDFIELD and DAVID RYDEN (London: Chatto & Windus, 2003; pp. lviii + 387, xxxvi + 347, xxxviii + 373, xxxiv + 428. £360).

THIS handsome four-volume edition of texts dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries documents British involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade from its beginning to its official ending. Britain's direct participation in the slave trade lasted for almost 250 years (if one includes the slaving activities of John Hawkins—which were, however, but an isolated early venture), from the 1560s to the abolition of the slave trade by Parliament in 1807. Although compared with other European nations, the British (or, more correctly, the English) were late-comers in the trade, they nevertheless quickly dominated it....

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