In My Right Place View larger

In My Right Place


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The Life and Times of Joseph Clouston, Gold Coast Merchant and Harray Laird.

By Virginia Schroder.


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£ 15.00

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Born in Orkney in 1816, to a father who lost his money despite owning a whisky distillery, nineteen-year-old Joseph Clouston went to the Gold Coast of West Africa.

This region, notorious both for its involvement in the slave trade and as 'The White Man's Grave' was his making. For eleven years, he sold the goods that Africans wanted, in exchange for gold dust, which he shipped back to London. When he returned to Orkney, he was a wealthy man. He redeemed the family fortunes, built a fine house and became a respected local figure. But after so vivid and arduous a beginning, could the life of a 'Harray Laird' be enough for Joseph?

A story of one man, this is also a story of two places - the infamous former centre of the British slave trade, populated by a small band of Europeans of somewhat shady nature, and the islands of Orkney, just at the point of their transformation into a recognisably modern world. It is a story of their personal ambition, political intrigues and public scandals, of vivid characters and of networks of mutual aid reaching from the north of Scotland to the tropics.

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