TWO YEARS IN THE FRENCH WEST INDIES
By Lafcadio Hearn
Author Of "Chita" Etc
During a trip to the Lesser Antilles in the summer of 1887, the writer of the following pages, landing at Martinique, fell under the influence of that singular spell which the island has always exercised upon strangers, and by which it has earned its poetic name,—Le Pays des Revenants. Even as many another before him, he left its charmed shores only to know himself haunted by that irresistible regret,—unlike any other,—which is the enchantment of the land upon all who wander away from it. So he returned, intending to remain some months; but the bewitchment prevailed, and he remained two years.
Some of the literary results of that sojourn form the bulk of the present volume. Several, or portions of several, papers have been published in HARPER'S MAGAZINE; but the majority of the sketches now appear in print for the first time.
The introductory paper, entitled "A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics," consists for the most part of notes taken upon a voyage of nearly three thousand miles, accomplished in less than two months. During such hasty journeying it is scarcely possible for a writer to attempt anything more serious than a mere reflection of the personal experiences undergone; and, in spite of sundry justifiable departures from simple note-making, this paper is offered only as an effort to record the visual and emotional impressions of the moment.