Richard Atkinson

Richard Atkinson is a publisher who has been behind some of the most successful cookbooks of the past two decades. He lives in London, but has a deep-rooted affection for the northern fells, the land of his ancestors. It was his chance discovery of an unpublished cookery manuscript, handwritten in 1806 by his four-times great-grandmother, Bridget Atkinson, which prompted the cascade of dark family revelations that are at the heart of Mr Atkinson’s Rum Contract. Drawing on thousands of intimate letters, the first part of the book tells the colourful story of his eighteenth-century namesake Richard ‘Rum’ Atkinson, the most controversial contractor to the British army during the American Revolutionary War; the second part explores how this brilliant entrepreneur’s vast self-made fortune transformed a family of ordinary Westmorland tanners into one of the richest merchant families in Kingston, Jamaica, at a time when sugar was king, the slave trade was at its peak, and the islands of the West Indies were the undisputed jewels of the British empire.

Bibliography

Mr Atkinson's Rum Contract

Mr Atkinson's Rum Contract

Fourth Estate, 2019