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Stedman and Women

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago


John Gabriel Stedman was infatuated with women, even from a very early age.  According to Richard Price and Sally Price in the introduction to “Stedman’s Suriname,” he rarely passed up a sexual opportunity.  For example, as a young man in England, Stedman had concurrent affairs with his landlord’s wife and her maid until the landlady became jealous and threw both Stedman and the maid out at the same time (xvii).


Stedman’s sexual appetite continued through his Suriname expedition.  Frequent encounters with slave women began on the night he arrived in Suriname’s capital of Paramaribo and continued throughout his journey.  Stedman noted many encounters in his log, though never in explicit detail (xxx).




Unsurprisingly, the personal journal that Stedman kept (and the sexual encounters mentioned therein) varies quite a bit from his published narrative.  The image-conscious Stedman, with a wife and children in England, wanted to cultivate the impression of a gentleman rather than the womanizer he might be considered on the basis of his diary.  “Stedman’s Suriname” removes the depersonalized sex with slave women and replaces it with a greater emphasis on his romantic relationship with Joanna (xxxii).


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