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A Deep Dive into Miss Lambe: Exploring the Life of the Wealthy Black Heiress in Jane Austen's Sanditon

Sanditon by Jane Austen, her final published work, showcases a new cast of characters and landscapes not seen in her previous publications. This unfinished book features Miss Lambe, a wealthy, Black heiress from the British West Indies who visits Sanditon on vacation. In her lecture, Tiffany analyzes her character in the broader context of 19th century England. By exploring her character, one can learn more about race relations in England, Britain's West Indian colony and the significance of her upper-class status in the novel. Due to the unfinished nature of the book, delving deeper into the historical context and looking at similar literature provides a more detailed character map of Miss Lambe that is missing from the original text, bringing her story to life. Tiffany also will examine the tv show “Sanditon” to see how the program brings Miss Lambe’s story to life, while exploring the parallels between the novel’s adaptation and the historical context.

Presented at Virtual Jane Austen Con July 17th, 2022 

Works Cited 

Jane Austen, Sanditon (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).

Verene Shepherd, “Women in Caribbean History: The British-Colonised Territories” (Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle, 1999), 21.

Verena Martinez-Alier, “Marriage, Class and Colour in Nineteenth-Century Cuba: A Study of Racial Attitudes and Sexual Values in a Slave Society” (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1974).

Dorris Garraway, “The Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean” (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2005), 197-218.

“West Indies- Colonialism,” Britannica, accessed January 10, 2021, https://www.britannica.com/place/West-Indies-island-group-Atlantic-Ocean/Colonialism

“An introduction to the Caribbean, empire and slavery,” British Library, last modified November 16, 2017, https://www.bl.uk/west-india-regiment/articles/an-introduction-to-the-caribbean-empire-and-slavery#

“Horticulture, Politics, and World Affairs: Sugarcane and Plantation Agriculture,” Purdue University, accessed January 10, 2021, https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/Hort_306/text/lec34.pdf

“Episode 126: Sugar in Tudor England,” Renaissance English History Podcast: A Show About the Tudors, last modified July 16, 2019, https://www.englandcast.com/2019/07/episode-126-sugar-in-tudor-england/

“Slavery in the Caribbean,” National Museums Liverpool, accessed January 10, 2021, https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/archaeologyofslavery/slavery-caribbean

Daniel Alan Livesay, “Children Of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-race Migration From The West Indies To Britain, 1750-1820 ” (PhD diss., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2010), 155, https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/77875/livesayd_1.pdf

Prescott, Amanda-Rae (2021) "Race and Racism in Austen Spaces: Notes On A Scandal: Sanditon Fandom’s Ongoing Racism And The Danger Of Ignoring Austen Discourse On Social Media," ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830: Vol.11: Iss.2, Article 10.

http://doi.org/10.5038/2157-7129.11.2.1290 Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/abo/vol11/iss2/10

“The Tragic Mulatto Myth.” Ferris State University, https://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/mulatto/homepage.htm.