Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 372 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LEEWARD ISLANDS, a group in the West Indies. They derive their name from being less exposed to the prevailing N.E. trade wind than the adjacent Windward Islands. They are the most northerly of the Lesser Antilles, and form a curved chain stretching S.W. from Puerto Rico to meet St Lucia, the most northerly of the Windward Islands. They consist of the Virgin Islands, with St Kitts, Antigua, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique and their various dependencies. The Virgin Islands are owned by Great Britain and Denmark, Holland having St Eustatius, with .Saba, and part of St Martin. France possesses Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Bartholomew and the remainder of St Martin. The rest of the islands are British, and (with the exception of Sombrero, a small island used only as a lighthouse-station) form, under one governor, a colony divided into five presidencies, namely: Antigua (with Barbuda and Redonda), St Kitts (with Nevis and Anguilla), Dominica, Montserrat and the Virgin Islands. Total pop. (1901) 127,536. There is one federal executive council nominated by the crown, and one federal legislative council—ten nominated and ten elected members. Of the latter, four are chosen by the unofficial members of the local legislative council of Antigua, two by those of Dominica, and four by the non-official members of the local legislative council of St Kitts-Nevis. The federal legislative council meets once annually, usually at St John, Antigua. LE FANU, JOSEPH SHERIDAN (1814–1873), Irish journalist and author, was born of an old Huguenot family at Dublin on the 28th of August 1814. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1833. At an early age he had given proof of literary talent, and in 1837 he joined the staff of the Dublin University Magazine, of which he became later editor and proprietor. In 1837 he produced the Irish ballad Phaudhrig Croohore. which was shortly afterwards followed by a second, Shamus O'Brien, successfully recited in the United States by Samuel Lover. In 1839 he became proprietor of the Warder, a Dublin newspaper, and, after purchasing the Evening Packet and a large interest in the Dublin Evening Mail, he combined the three papers under the title the Evening Mail, a weekly reprint from which was . issued as the Warder. After the death of his wife in 1858 he lived in retirement, and his best work was produced at this period of his life. He wrote some clever novels, of a sensational order, in which his vigorous imagination and his Irish love of the supernatural have full play. He died in Dublin on the 7th of February 1873. His best-known novels are The House by the Churchyard (1863) and Uncle Silas, a Tale of Bartram Haugh (1864). The Purcell Papers, Irish stories dating from his college clays, were edited with a memoir of the author by A. P. Graves in 1880.

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