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Madeleine's Children
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Madeleine's Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France's Indian Ocean Colonies

Sue Peabody


This book explores the hidden history of a family in slavery and freedom in the Indian Ocean empires of France and Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A tale of legal intrigue, this biography uncovers the family lives of slaves and free people in two islands, Réunion (Isle Bourbon) and Mauritius (Isle de France). Madeleine, a girl from Bengal, entered the service of a French mistress in Chandernagor in the 1750s and accompanied her to France, where she became the slave of a planter couple who brought her to Isle Bourbon. Madeleine’s three children — Maurice, Constance, and ... More

Keywords: France, slavery, freedom, Indian Ocean, Réunion, Mauritius, abolition, emancipation, family, race, law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190233884
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190233884.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sue Peabody, author
Professor of History, Washington State University Vancouver