Dangerous Freedom, Papillote Press, Dominica

Dangerous Freedom

£10.99

ISBN

9781999776862

Published

2021

 

Format

Paperback
also an eBook

ISBN

9781999776862

Published

2021

Format

Paperback
also an eBook

In this radical and moving historical novel, Scott weaves fact with fiction to reveal “the great deception” exercised by the powerful on a mixed-race child born in the late 18th century and brought up in the London home of England’s Lord Chief Justice.

Dido Belle was the daughter of an African-born enslaved woman and the sea-faring nephew of Lord Mansfield. She was freed only on Mansfield’s death and became Elizabeth d’Aviniere on her marriage. Scott imagines Elizabeth’s adult world where she reflects on her disturbed childhood and fears for her own children’s safety at risk from slave catchers. Above all, she yearns for her lost mother. Why did she no longer write? Where was she? The novel builds to a powerful denouement as the events of Elizabeth’s past engage with the traumas of her present.

“In Dangerous Freedom I am trying to redress what I see as the romantic portrayals of Dido in art, film and literature,” says Lawrence Scott, whose first novel Witchbroom, set in Trinidad, became a BBC Book at Bedtime. “I wanted to question the sketchy history we have of Dido and, through fiction, to alter the psychological and political perspectives. I hope that the novel can add to our understanding of a pain that remains just below the surface of contemporary life.”

Buy Now

A reading from Dangerous Freedom, the new historical novel by Trinidad's Lawrence Scott

 

En Papillote is a series of readings by authors from the list of Papillote Press of Dominica and the UK. Each video is introduced by publisher Polly Pattullo. Here, the award-winning Trinidadian writer Lawrence Scott reads from DANGEROUS FREEDOM, his new historical novel set in 18th century London about Dido Belle, the mixed-race girl who was brought up in a stately home owned by her great-uncle, the Lord Chief Justice.

What they say

An absolutely wonderful read, rescuing the enigmatic figure of Dido from the frames of history and giving voice to her story and that of her enslaved mother.
– Susheila Nasta

Dangerous Freedom reveals how powerfully an act of fictive empathy can dispel long shadows of historical forgetfulness.’
– Marina Warner

Scott sympathetically resurrects a life hidden in the shadows of history.
– Sunday Times

What they say

An absolutely wonderful read, rescuing the enigmatic figure of Dido from the frames of history and giving voice to her story and that of her enslaved mother.
– Susheila Nasta
‘Dangerous Freedom reveals how powerfully an act of fictive empathy can dispel long shadows of historical forgetfulness.’
– Marina Warner

Lawrence Scott

Lawrence Scott is an award-winning Caribbean novelist and short-story writer from Trinidad & Tobago. His first novel Witchbroom (1992, and reissued by Papillote Press in 2017) was a BBC Book at Bedtime, while his second novel, Aelred’s Sin, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book for Canada and the Caribbean in 1999. He is the winner of the Tom-Gallon Trust short-story award. ‘Light Falling on Bamboo’ (2012) received an honourable mention from Casa de las Americas prize, Cuba, 2014; longlisted for the International Impac Dublin literary award, 2014; shortlisted for the OCM BOCAS prize fiction category.

About the Author

Lawrence Scott

Lawrence Scott is an award-winning Caribbean novelist and short-story writer from Trinidad & Tobago. His first novel Witchbroom (1992, and reissued by Papillote Press in 2017) was a BBC Book at Bedtime, while his second novel, Aelred’s Sin, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book for Canada and the Caribbean in 1999. He is the winner of the Tom-Gallon Trust short-story award. ‘Light Falling on Bamboo’ (2012) received an honourable mention from Casa de las Americas prize, Cuba, 2014; longlisted for the International Impac Dublin literary award, 2014; shortlisted for the OCM BOCAS prize fiction category.