Title: Under an English Heaven
Author: Westlake, Donald E.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, London
Publication Date: 1973
Edition: Hodder & Stoughton Edition
Book Condition: F
D-j Condition: VG
Comments: D-j very lightly soiled. Top and bottom edges lightly soiled.
Synopsis: Westlake describes the British invasion of the Caribbean island of Anguilla on March 19, 1969 — an engagement dubbed by Time as “Britain’s Bay of Piglets.” What was this tiny querulous democracy — black and white petit bourgeois all — after? This was a puzzlement to almost everyone, particularly since the first “rebel flag” hoisted was the Union Jack. Mainly it boiled down to an abhorrence of the paternal dictatorship of Colonel Bradshaw on the neighboring island of St. Kitts (nee St. Christopher) which the British, in their haste to slough off Caribbean millstones, had thrown into an “Associated State” with Nevis and the hapless Anguilla. It seemed to the Anguillans that a negligent but comfortably distant Mother had withdrawn in favor of a Papa Doc. Westlake traces the 50 months of muddled negotiations, farcical happenings and errant nonsense, including press rumors of Mafia infiltration, bungled insurgent efforts, and visitations by an odd grab bag of Americans. As for the Anguillans themselves, their preparedness is summed up by the two-man police force with a cranky Volks — one at the wheel, one pushing. Then came the Invasion and Westlake appropriately prefaces the epic with lines from “Jabberwocky.” Of course, the Anguillans won and after 300 years of neglect are more or less back in the nest with new roads and buildings from England. Westlake has carefully documented to keep face (and prose) straight; it’s a rare show not to be missed.