Megan Vaughan

Creating the Creole island : slavery in eighteenth-century Mauritius

Duke university press

Durham (North Carolina), 2005

bibliothèque insulaire

bannzil kréyòl
Maurice, Rodrigues, Chagos, …

parutions 2005

Creating the Creole island : slavery in eighteenth-century Mauritius / Megan Vaughan. - Durham (North Carolina) : Duke university press, 2005. - 360 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN 0-8223-3399-6

NOTE DE L'ÉDITEUR : The island of Mauritius lies in the middle of the Indian Ocean, about 550 miles east of Madagascar. Uninhabited until the arrival of colonists in the late sixteenth century, Mauritius was subsequently populated by many different peoples as successive waves of colonizers and slaves arrived at its shores. The French ruled the island from the early eighteenth century until the early nineteenth. Throughout the 1700s, ships brought men and women from France to build the colonial population and from Africa and India as slaves. In Creating the Creole Island, the distinguished historian Megan Vaughan traces the complex and contradictory social relations that developed on Mauritius under French colonial rule, paying particular attention to questions of subjectivity and agency.

Combining archival research with an engaging literary style, Vaughan juxtaposes extensive analysis of court records with examinations of the logs of slave ships and of colonial correspondence and travel accounts. The result is a close reading of life on the island, power relations, colonialism, and the process of cultural creolization. Vaughan brings to light complexities of language, sexuality, and reproduction as well as the impact of the French Revolution. Illuminating a crucial period in the history of Mauritius, Creating the Creole Island is a major contribution to the historiography of slavery, colonialism, and creolization across the Indian Ocean.

❙ Megan Vaughan is Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at Cambridge University. She is the author of several books including Cutting Down Trees: Gender, Nutrition, and Agricultural Change in the Northern Province of Zambia, 1890–1990 (with Henrietta L. Moore) and Curing Their Ills: Colonial Power and African Illness.



  1. In the Beginning
  2. Engineering a Colony, 1735-1767
  3. Enlightenment Colonialism and Its Limits, 1767-1789
  4. Roots and Routes: Ethnicity without Origins
  5. A Baby in the Salt Pans: Mothering Slavery
  6. Love in the Torrid Zone
  7. Reputation, Recognition, and Race
  8. Speaking Slavery: Language and Loss
  9. Métissage and Revolution
  10. Sugar and Abolition

Works Cited

INCIPIT Doubtless there was a time when the island of Mauritius was uninhabited, but those who landed on it either by design or misfortune from the late sixteenth century found a place full of traces, real or fantastical, of others who had trodden there before. There were traces of those who had come and gone, and of those who had come and died, but the most haunting of all were the traces left by those who might still be there : the real terror faced by the marooned was not that they were alone, but that they might not be alone after all. This small island always had internal islands of habitations within it : an interior which was simultaneously exterior, repudiated. But most exclusion is an illusion […].

p. 1
Note de lecture par Pier M. Larson — Journal of Southern African Studies

mise-à-jour : 4 septembre 2017
Megan Vaughan : Creating the Creole island