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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter four scholars offer different critical perspectives on George Colman the Younger’s comic opera Inkle and Yarico (1787)—a play long discussed in terms of its attitude towards slavery and relationship to the abolition movement. Frank Felsenstein considers the broader history of the Inke and Yarico story, and points to the enduring popularity of the play; Jean I. Marsden looks at cuts made to the play’s dialogue to sentimentalize the character of Inkle and so to make less visible the connection between England and slavery; Mita Choudhury argues that the comic opera is very much pro-mercantilist and discusses Colman’s disinterest in issues of race and slavery; and, finally, Nandini Bhattacharya explores the way in which the play juxtaposes commerce, collecting, and connoisseurship as significant eighteenth-century pursuits, with traffic in non-white women.

Keywords: Inkle and Yarico, slavery, race, colonialism, empire, commerce, Colman the Younger, abolition

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