Book Review: Blood Legacy, Alex Renton (2021)

Book cover Blood Legacy
1 Feb, 2024

Book Review: Blood Legacy, Alex Renton (2021)

Book Review by RQG Member Gary Lawrie

‘Blood Legacy – Reckoning with a Family’s Story of Slavery’ by Alex Renton
(2021, Canongate – ISBN 978-1-78689-886-9). Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize.

 

Alex Renton is a direct descendant of the Fergussons of Kilkerran in Ayrshire who owned and ran plantations in the Caribbean in the 1700 and 1800’s, and owned slaves. He has used the original family records, now held at the National Records of Scotland, together with other sources to explain in some detail the family’s “business” operation and how they benefited financially from the slave trade and how these benefits have been passed down the generations including to Alex.
Renton holds no punches with the detail of how slaves were treated in his family’s plantations and across the Caribbean.

Despite what he describes as a privileged upbringing, Renton aims to highlight the horror of the slave trade in all its detail and uses many original sources, letters, business papers etc. to give a well-written insight into the reality of the slave trade. The book includes an explanation of the sources and records he used.

For any family historian with an interest in the slave trade and the role many of our ancestors played in the trade, I think this is essential reading.

Gary Lawrie
January 2024

 

 

Cover photo provided by kind permission from the author Alex Renton alexrenton.com and Canongate Books https://canongate.co.uk/


—————-
Check the availability of this publication in your local library or search online booksellers. Varying formats may be available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle/e-book & downloadable audio formats, and different book covers may be displayed than the image provided in the book review.

Do you have a recent book you would recommend to fellow genealogists, family history researchers & students on topics such as:

Family history * Genealogy * Research methods * DNA * Heraldry * Palaeography * Life stories *
* Historic places, people, groups, events? * and other related areas *

If you have a ‘good read’ to recommend, please contact the RQG Comms Group  comms@qualifiedgenealogists.org

All we require is the Book title, Author(s), ISBN number (if known), and a short paragraph to describe the theme and why you’d recommend the book. We aim to include your review on the RQG website, news and our social media platforms @RegQualGenes

 

Joanne Kenyon

RQG Member & Director

1 comment

  1. I read this last year and agree with Gary that it is essential reading for anyone wanting to know more about Scotland’s role in the slave trade.

Comments are closed.