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British conquest narratives aim to normalize and justify British rule in the Caribbean by advancing a myth of rightful conquest and of Indigenous disappearance that operated both as colonial fantasies and engines of conquest. This essay tracks some of the narrative strategies British writers employed in their perpetuation of this myth, from textual appropriations of Spanish and French narratives to literary claims to indigeneity and belonging. Reading eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British conquest narratives alongside an earlier and transnational literary history of European writing about the Caribbean, I examine how Indigenous presence belies myths of disappearance and argue that colonists conflated indigeneity and race to further their claims to rightful possession.
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