Cover image for A high wind in Jamaica
A high wind in Jamaica
Hughes, Richard, 1900-1976.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Innocent voyage
Publication Information:
New York : New York Review Books, 1999.

Physical Description:
279 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published: The innocent voyage. Boston : Harper, 1929.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Library

On Order



Richard Hughes's celebrated short novel is a masterpiece of concentrated narrative. Its dreamlike action begins among the decayed plantation houses and overwhelming natural abundance of late nineteenth-century Jamaica, before moving out onto the high seas, as Hughes tells the story of a group of children thrown upon the mercy of a crew of down-at-the-heel pirates. A tale of seduction and betrayal, of accommodation and manipulation, of weird humor and unforeseen violence, this classic of twentieth-century literature is above all an extraordinary reckoning with the secret reasons and otherworldly realities of childhood.

Author Notes

Richard Hughes was born on April 19, 1900, in England. He graduated from Oxford in 1922, and, as a young man, he enjoyed the Bohemian lifestyle. For a period of time, he lived as a beggar and street performer in Europe. Ever the nomad, he traveled throughout Canada, the West Indies, Europe, and the United States, frequently using his experiences as the basis for his writings.

Hughes's writings include novels, plays, poetry, and short stories. He drew acclaim in 1929 with his first novel, A High Wind in Jamaica, also published under the title The Innocent Voyage. Set in the 19th century, a group of children traveling from Jamaica to England are captured by pirates. The children soon wreck havoc with the pirates, bringing about their downfall. The irrational and carefree world of children is realistically depicted in this entertaining novel.

Hughes's other writings are marked by fresh ideas and characterizations. His Human Predicament Series includes the novels The Fox in the Attic and The Wooden Shepherdess. These books are part of a historical series depicting the events between the two world wars. Hughes died of leukemia on April 28, 1976, before completing the third, and final, volume of the work.

(Bowker Author Biography)