English Republicanism and Global Slavery in Henry Neville’s The Isle of Pines
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Recent scholarship on Henry Neville’s The Isle of Pines (1668) has foregrounded the text’s engagement with seventeenth-century republicanism or with early modern discourses of colonialism and race. In this article, I argue that The Isle of Pines links politics and race through the figure of Philippa and illustrates how republican ideals become intertwined with an exclusionary racial logic. Specifically, I contextualize the English Pines’ dystopic island and interactions with the visiting Dutch merchants within an Asia-centric commercial network that depends on a global system of slavery. My approach, which resituates The Isle of Pines in its Indian Ocean framework, enables a fuller understanding of how English republicans recognized and displaced the human costs of mercantilism in their efforts to develop a viable political model for the age of expansion and empire.