H.G. and Haiti: An Analysis of Herbert G. DeLisser’s “Land of Revolutions”
Matthew J. Smith
This article examines “Land of Revolutions” (1911), a previously unknown series of eleven journalistic essays on early-twentieth-century Haiti by celebrated Jamaican writer, H.G. DeLisser. Written after his first book, In Cuba and Jamaica (1910), DeLisser’s treatment of Haiti illustrates the ways in which Jamaican middle-class writers imagined their island neighbour at the turn of the century. DeLisser repeated the prejudices of imperialist writers and revealed the class antagonisms of colonial Jamaica. The essays, however, also present a lucid interpretation of post-revolutionary Haiti that in many ways departs from other writings of the era in its treatment of class, colour and politics in Haiti.