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Seychelles gets new history book: ‘The Seychelles Islands And Its First Landowners’

Victoria, Seychelles | May 10, 2016, Tuesday @ 12:13 in Entertainment » ARTS & CULTURE | By: Genevieve Morel and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2833
Seychelles gets new history book: ‘The Seychelles Islands And Its First Landowners’

Seychellois historian Julien Durup with his newly history book 'The Seychelles Islands And Its First Landowners.' (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - A new book on Seychelles traces part of the island nation's history between the 1780s and 1830s.

"The Seychelles Islands and its First Landowners" by island historian Julien Durup traces the history of the archipelago from 1786 to1833. The book was made public on Thursday.

Durup said he wrote the book because he feels there is a lack of history books on Seychelles, a nation of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

The local historian said he got his inspiration from three of his departed friends, Antoine Abel, Guy Morel and Khantilal Jivan Shah who wrote the preface before he died. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

During the presentation ceremony Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange said, “I know that Seychelles as a whole and the community of nations who has an interest in Seychelles will benefit from it.”

St. Ange added that where the island nation is  today originated from somewhere, and somebody has taken the trouble to put it on paper for the future generations to see.

The new book talks about the discovery of the islands and the first settlement, a summary of the island nation’s legal history, religion and slavery. 

It also includes an examination of the Creole language and its origins, the local currencies during the French and British period, economic and commercial activities and the list of landowners and location of their properties.

The books are on sale at Antigone, Chanterelle book stores and the Seychelles international airport at $15 for paperback and $22 for hardback. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Durup said he did extensive research at the Seychelles National Archives.

Of all the chapters, the eighth one is the longest. It deals with the landowners and location of their properties, and Durup said it was the most difficult one to write. It took him several years to complete the book as he was simultaneously working on other projects.

The local historian said he got his inspiration from three of his departed friends, Antoine Abel, Guy Morel and Khantilal Jivan Shah who wrote the preface before he died.

"The Seychelles Islands and its First Landowners" is expected to be an asset for lawyers wanting to check the origins of certain properties as well as members of the public wishing to trace their family tree. As it has been written in simple English, it can also be used by readers young and old who have a love for history.

Durup (middle) with Alain St. Ange minister of culture (left) and Marc Hoareau owner of the VCS group (right) who supported the publication. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

The book was produced by imedia of the VCS Group. 

Hervé Chang-Yunn, marketing director of imedia, said his company has ventured into such publications to assist writers like Durup to document their books which would be available to the future generations in Seychelles, especially as a good historical reference tool.

The book is on sale at the Antigone and Chanterelle book stores in Victoria and the Seychelles international airport at $15 for paperback and $22 for hardback.

Durup is now gearing up for the publication of another history book based on the history of Seychelles’ law. 

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Tags: historian, Julien Durup, history books, Khantilal Jivan Shah, The Seychelles Islands and its First Landowners, Khantilal Jivan Shah

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