[image-1]Born in Antigua in the West Indies and schooled in the fine arts in England, Eliza Lucas was only 16 when her father, an officer in the British military, had to return to the Caribbean, leaving Eliza in Charleston to run her family’s three plantations.
Eliza was fascinated by botany, and she is credited with making indigo a viable crop in the Lowcountry. After receiving seeds from her father in Antigua, the budding botanist learned which strains of the plant were successful and cultivated these, writing to her father in 1741, “I make no doubt Indigo will prove a very valuable Commodity in time.” And she was right. Before the Revolutionary War, an English “bounty” on the indigo crop made the Carolinas rich. [content-1]
In Natasha Boyd‘s latest novel, The Indigo Girl, we are immersed in Eliza’s narrative, following her through the trials and tribulations she had to overcome as she dealt with tensions between the British, the Spanish, and her own family. Based on historical documents and Eliza’s letters, the book is set between 1739 and 1744, with promises of “romance, intrigue, and forbidden friendships.”
Learn more about Eliza and the Lowcounty’s indigo history, and chat with author Natasha Boyd this Fri. Oct. 6 at noon during lunch at High Cotton. Tickets are $31 for the luncheon, or $58 for lunch plus a signed copy of Boyd’s novel.