Drawing on both original documents and contemporary secondary sources at repositories in England and Jamaica, Marshall analyses the economic, social, political and legal framework which bound the lives of the enslaved black populations, free coloureds and whites in St Vincent, Tobago, Dominica and Grenada and the Grenadines in a significant period of Caribbean history. Focusing on the period 1763 to 1823, Marshall weaves together the history of these Windward Islands to build our understanding of their place in imperial competition for wealth and power between the French and the British. He analyses the social texture of their populations and the relationships within and among the different groups and he discusses the nature of resistance of the enslaved population, particularly the Maroons of Dominica. His work provides compelling evidence of how the Law, far from being an impartial arbiter of justice, was a weapon used by the ruling classes to perpetuate the hegemony of the exploitative colonial plantation system and to entrench inequitable power relations in the Caribbean. The literature on slavery in the Caribbean has grown significantly in recent years The contribution of historians, anthropologists, economists, sociologists and legal scholars is indicative of the extent to which the subject has become interdisciplinary.