William Palmer

The Devil is White
  • The Devil is White

  • It is 1792 and a group of English gentlemen is recruiting settlers for a new world. Anti-slavers, they foresee the shining vision of a free colony in Africa where all races and classes can live together in harmony.

    More than a hundred men, women and children set sail from London bound for Muranda, an island off the west coat of Africa. To lead them, they have Sir George Whitcroft; to sail their ship, the gallant Captain Coupland; Dr Owen to treat their ills; the Reverend Tolchard to guide their spiritual lives; and Caspar Jeavons, a young aristocratic poet, to record their exploits.

    When they land, Muranda seems a paradise. Fruit hangs from the trees, the waters swarm with fish, the local king is friendly. Some begin to work. Others prefer to laze and swim, to drink and dance at night. But then the tropical rains begin and beat relentlessly down, fever strikes arbitrarily, and violence reveals itself in this brave new world...

William Palmer is the author of five novels, The Good Republic, Leporello, The Contract, The Pardon of Saint Anne and The India House, and a collection of short stories, Four Last Things. He was awarded a Travelling Scholarship by the Society of Authors in 1997. A book of poems, The Island Rescue, won the Collection Prize at the Listowel Writers' Week festival in Ireland in 2006. He reviews regularly for the Independent and other journals. He lives in south-west London. http://www.williampalmer.info/


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