Re-print of Shephard’s History of St Vincent to be launched
November 15, 2013
Re-print of Shephard’s History of St Vincent to be launched

A long out-of-print classic, Charles Shephard’s An Historical Account of the Island of St Vincent, will be re-introduced to the Vincentian public in an elegant, new paperback edition on Thursday, November 21, at the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies, Kingstown.{{more}}

The launch, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is being co-hosted by Hobo Jungle Press – the publishers – and by the Historical and Archaeological Society of St Vincent.

The book, authored by Charles Shephard, a member of the executive council that administered the island at the time, recounts the Carib Wars and covers the period from roughly 1795 to 1830. It has been out of print since the 1970s. While many older Vincentians retain copies of the book in their libraries, it is virtually unknown to a younger audience.

The 250-plus page volume is not an easy read, according to Hobo Jungle publisher Marc Erdrich, an American-Vincentian who has lived here for 15 years.

“I was first introduced to the book about two years ago,” Erdrich said, “and it was a real eye opener. I was especially surprised to discover that, except for academics, very few people on St Vincent are familiar with the Shephard history. It is incredibly one-sided, of course, but I suppose that’s to be expected given the time it was written (1831); but it’s the attention to detail, particularly the appendices, that makes it such a worthwhile read. The tables, which cover every aspect of life on the island, are extraordinary.”

For the new edition of the Shephard book, Vincentian scholars Adrian Fraser and Paul Lewis have written introductions to complement the text. They will give brief presentations at the launch.

Copies of the book – with its more than 70 pages of charts and tables – will be available for sale at a preview price of $35. Refreshments will be served and the public is welcome. There is no charge.