» » The Loss of El Dorado: A History

The Loss of El Dorado: A History epub

by V. S. Naipaul


The Loss of El Dorado: A History epub

ISBN: 0140036415

ISBN13: 978-0140036411

Author: V. S. Naipaul

Category: History

Subcategory: Americas

Language: English

Publisher: Penguin Books (October 27, 1977)

Pages: 394 pages

ePUB book: 1590 kb

FB2 book: 1753 kb

Rating: 4.8

Votes: 431

Other Formats: lit azw rtf lrf





Naipaul's book is then mandatory reading for all Trinidadians interested in their history. He would die in obscurity, as the tale of El Dorado became Raleigh's

Naipaul's book is then mandatory reading for all Trinidadians interested in their history. The story tellingly contains some depressing lines or occurrences to shape the perception of Trinidad. Antonio de Berrio pursued El Dorado with zest, but by age 75, he was insane and lonely after his failure to achieve the goal. He would die in obscurity, as the tale of El Dorado became Raleigh's. At the end of the first section, the book declares that the El Dorado propaganda had died and that consequently, "No one would look at Trinidad. with the eye of Raleigh, Dudley, or Wyatt ever.

Start by marking The Loss of El Dorado: A History as Want to Read .

Start by marking The Loss of El Dorado: A History as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. In this extraordinary and often gripping book, V. S. Naipaul himself a native of Trinidad shows how that delusion drew a small island into the vortex of world events, making it the object of Spanish and English colonia The history of Trinidad begins with a delusion: the belief that somewhere nearby on the South American mainland lay El Dorado, the mythical kingdom of. gold.

The book consumed Naipaul . In 1983, he wrote: The book took three years to write. It felt like a career; and there was a short period, towards the end of the writing, when I do believe I knew all or much of the book by heart. The Loss of El Dorado is an attempt to ferret out an older, deeper history of Trinidad, one preceding its commonly taught history as a British-run plantation economy of slaves and indentured workers.

The Loss of El Dorado, by the Nobel Prize winner V. Naipaul, is a history book about Venezuela and Trinidad. It was published in 1969. The title refers to the El Dorado legend. Back in London in October 1966, Naipaul received an invitation from the American publisher Little, Brown and Company to write a book on Port-of-Spain. The book took two years to write, its scope widening with time. The Loss of El Dorado eventually became a narrative history of Trinidad based on primary sources

The Loss of El Dorado : A Colonial History. With an exile's sensibility, Naipaul's writing is concerned with both the West Indies of his childhood and his strong identification with India.

The Loss of El Dorado : A Colonial History. A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), his most well-known work, solidified his reputation as a novelist.

The method Naipaul explores in The Loss of El Dorado, a technique of excavating . The Loss of El Dorado: A History. A Flag on the Island.

The method Naipaul explores in The Loss of El Dorado, a technique of excavating individual life stories from the notes of his travels which are later worked into either fictional narratives, documentaries or l pieces, becomes characteristic of his style in many of his publications of the 1980s; amongst others, Among the Believers (1981), A Turn in the South. Yet Naipaul remains one of the most widely read and admired literary figures of the contemporary world. In 1990, V. Naipaul received a knighthood for services to literature; in 1993, he was the first recipient of the David Cohen British Literature Prize. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He lived with his wife Nadira and cat Augustus in Wiltshire, and died in 2018.

The history of Trinidad begins with a delusion: the belief that somewhere nearby on the South American mainland lay El Dorado, the mythical kingdom of gold. Naipaul–himself a native of Trinidad–shows how that delusion drew a small island into the vortex of world events, making it the object of Spanish and English colonial designs and a mecca for treasure-seekers, slave-traders, and revolutionaries.

The title of the book "The Loss of El Dorado" hints at the high initial hopes of colonists and explorers. Indeed, the exploits of one of England's most famous maritime explorers, Sir Walter Raleigh, provided a foundation stone for the dashed hopes of so many in the years to come. Trinidad's location near to the Orinoco Delta system made it the logical starting point to discover what they hoped was the fantastical city of gold in the South American jungle. Naipaul's book throws a fascinating light on the strategic importance, or lack of importance, to the Spanish as the Caribbean became a hunting ground for various empires and privateers from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

In The Loss of El Dorado, V. Naipaul shows how the alchemic delusion of El Dorado drew the small island of Trinidad into the vortex of world events, making it the object of Spanish and English colonial designs and a Mecca for treasure-seekers, slave-traders, and revolutionaries.

The history of Trinidad begins with a delusion: the belief that somewhere nearby on the South American mainland lay El Dorado, the mythical kingdom of gold. In this extraordinary and often gripping book, V. S. Naipaul–himself a native of Trinidad–shows how that delusion drew a small island into the vortex of world events, making it the object of Spanish and English colonial designs and a mecca for treasure-seekers, slave-traders, and revolutionaries.Amid massacres and poisonings, plunder and multinational intrigue, two themes emerge: the grinding down of the Aborigines during the long rivalries of the El Dorado quest and, two hundred years later, the man-made horror of slavery. An accumulation of casual, awful detail takes us as close as we can get to day-to-day life in the slave colony, where, in spite of various titles of nobility, only an opportunistic, near-lawless community exists, always fearful of slave suicide or poison, of African sorcery and revolt. Naipaul tells this labyrinthine story with assurance, withering irony, and lively sympathy. The result is historical writing at its highest level.
This was the first book by Naipaul that I read, decades ago, and I fell in love with it. A beautiful book about a truly terrible subject. Nothing else by Naipaul quite lives up to this amazing book.
Not up to Naipaul's standard.
Product and delivery exactly as promised!
I think it's fair to say V.S. Naipaul is one of the finer writers of our time. Here his compressed, simple sentence structure, matched with fascinating details and copious research, works nearly as well for history as it does for his works of fiction.

Turning his attention to his homeland, Trinidad, Naipaul reveals a lost history of Spanish, French and English colonialism, all fueled by the frantic, bloody search for El Dorado.

Naipaul's three-part structure makes sense and is filled with remarkable anecdotes of greed, folly, slavery, barbarity, and one or two glimpses of decency and humanity.

I had trouble putting this one down.
Surprisingly bad book, boring,
V.S. Naipaul has always attracted me because he is a Trinidadian, like I am. I've read quite a few of his books, and he is undoubtedly one of the best. The Loss of El Dorado, I am pleased to say, shows off his skills.

The book is original because it dwells on Trinidadian history preceding the arrival of indentured servants from India. Specifically, Naipaul explores two events in which this small island attracted national headlines: the first recounts the frantic but fruitless quest for the mythical city of El Dorado by Ralegh, Berrio, and others; the second story relates the illegal torture of a young girl named Luisa Calderon and the accompanying scandal surrounding the culprit General Thomas Picton. Neither of these are mainstream stories. In Trinidad schools today, they are not even taught or included in textbooks. Thus, I give Naipaul credit. The research and care that went into this book's development was substantial and undoubtedly exhausting.

He says in the Foreword that this story "ends in 1813. Indians from India began to arrival in 1845; but the colony was created long before that." This quote is, essentially, the thesis of the book. Most Trinidadian historians focus on the arrival of indentured servants from India, but Naipaul here says that the colony was created before that. In Naipaul's thinking, the stories played a bigger role in the development of Trinidad than the Indians from India did. Naipaul's book is then mandatory reading for all Trinidadians interested in their history.

The story tellingly contains some depressing lines or occurrences to shape the perception of Trinidad. Antonio de Berrio pursued El Dorado with zest, but by age 75, he was insane and lonely after his failure to achieve the goal. He would die in obscurity, as the tale of El Dorado became Raleigh's. At the end of the first section, the book declares that the El Dorado propaganda had died and that consequently, "No one would look at Trinidad ... with the eye of Raleigh, Dudley, or Wyatt ever again." In other words, no one placed value on the island ever again. Indeed, later on the book relates the difficulties of trying to place a governor of Trinidad -- no one wanted the job. The final section, the Epilogue, states outright: "Port of Spain dropped out of history." As a Trinidadian, such statements made me a little sad. The country comes off as unimportant, negligible, and expendable. To overcome these depressing sentiments, just remember the Foreword, which explains the importance, relevance, and worth of these people and their deeds.

The second section, the Luisa Calderon portion, goes heavily into law. People get arrested every few pages, and trials are given utmost attention. At times, I felt like I was studying for law school, which I enjoyed! Naipaul, indeed, got the material here by investigating court records, as he says in appendix.

The writing is quality, as all of Naipaul's prose is, but know that at times he will get deeply poetical or ornate. Some passages (ie. - the one about Robinson Crusoe in the first chapters) will puzzle you and force you to think hard just to understand it. Basically, you get good writing that is also hard writing.

Overall, I recommend this book, especially for Trinidadians but also for anyone who loves good, provocative writing.
In The Loss of El Dorado (1969), V.S. Naipaul traces the history of his homeland of Trinidad from its days under the Spanish to it takeover by the British in the 18th century and the years immediately following. It is a history dominated by a succession of dominant personalities and reads best as a kind of short story cycle. The island, located at the mouth of the Orinoco River off the coast of Venezuela, was perfectly positioned as a landing stage for expeditions to the interior of South America, especially for those seeking the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Trinidad itself, however was basically seen as a backwater in this period, a dead-end assignment for governors unfortunate enough to be assigned there by the Spanish and then English monarchies.
This is the historical counterpart to Naipaul's "A Way in the World", even though it was written more than two decades earlier - these books should ideally be read back-to-back. It provides a history of Trinidad from the original discovery by the Spaniards until the early nineteenth century. The canvas covered is vast - the early Spanish attempts at colonisation, Raleigh's poorly-organised and squalid search for an El Dorado on the Orinoco, the arrival of French refugees escaping from the slave-uprisings on Haiti and the establishment of British control, with a leading but hardly-creditable role being played by Sir Thomas Picton, later a hero of the Peninsula and Waterloo, and the use of the island as a springboard for fomenting revolution in Latin America. It is from beginning to end a ghastly story, dominated by greed, cowardice and cruelty. There is hardly a single character who emerges with credit and at times the reader is all but overwhelmed by the catalogue of mean-minded exploitation, atrocities and treachery. As always in his non-fiction writing, Naipaul uses a novelist's eye to bring colour and life to the narrative - adding not just to the immediacy but also to the horror of much of the material. This work goes beyond historical narrative however and presents simultaneously an extended meditation on the nature of power at its most basic level. It is a terrible and disturbing work - but a great one.