Secret History, or, the Horrors of St. Domingo; and, Laura

TitleSecret History, or, the Horrors of St. Domingo; and, Laura
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSansay, Leonora, and Michael J. Drexler
Number of Pages319
CityPeterborough, Canada

Based on Leonora Sansay (1773-1821)'s eyewitness accounts of the final days of French rule in Saint Domingue (Haiti), the first portion in this edited volume is a vivid account of race warfare and domestic violence. The author's writing draws comparisons between Saint Domingue during the Haitian Revolution and the postrevolutionary United States, while fluidly combining qualities of the eighteenth-century epistolary novel, colonial travel writing, and political analysis. Laura, the author's second novel, makes up the second part of this volume and features as its protagonist a beautiful impoverished orphan who throws herself headlong into a secret marriage with a young medical student. When her husband dies in a duel in an effort to protect his wife's reputation, Laura finds herself once more alone in the world. This edition offers a selection of contextual materials, including selections from periodical literature about Haiti, engravings, letters written by Sansay to her friend Aaron Burr, historical material related to the Burr trial for treason, and excerpts from literature referenced in the novels.

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