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Image credit: From an 1854 publication
Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery
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Værker af William Wells Brown

Travels of William Wells Brown (1651) 10 eksemplarer
William Wells Brown: A Reader (2008) 5 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Slave Narratives (2000) — Bidragyder — 320 eksemplarer
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1 (1990) — Bidragyder, nogle udgaver255 eksemplarer
Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White (1998) — Bidragyder — 117 eksemplarer
Three Classic African-American Novels (1990) — Bidragyder — 101 eksemplarer
The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Bidragyder — 98 eksemplarer
Three Classic African-American Novels (1990) — Bidragyder — 86 eksemplarer
The Great Escapes: Four Slave Narratives (2007) — Bidragyder — 59 eksemplarer

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Hakim Adi's selection of writings about Britain (mainly England) by Black people of the late 18th to the early 20th century is carefully chosen to establish their presence in all strata of society at a date earlier than certain commentators would wish it known. There's a thread showing the development of abolitionism into emancipation into supremacism to justify the continued exploitation of Black Labour, and Adi's selections often strongly resonate with current issues, such as the Windrush scandal and the illegal Tory Rwanda deportation policy.

There's also many fascinating glimpses into Georgian and Victorian society and, while varying degrees of racism are noted, many of the impressions of visitors to the island are positive about their reception and of the culture in which they find themselves.

A nuanced and balanced selection of historical testimonies which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, not least the short section on John Ocansey's day trip from Liverpool to my home town of Southport 🏖️
… (mere)
Michael.Rimmer | Jul 12, 2023 |
Aside from the wealth of personal accounts, military reports, newspaper articles and speeches included, this book contains some of the most powerful and impassioned prose that William Wells Brown wrote, especially in the closing chapters.
merlin1234 | Feb 5, 2023 |
I wasn't aware of this book until I had it recommended as part of a course on historical fiction. The simplicity and ease with which the author narrates such sordid and terrible crimes committed against slaves stirs up a storm of emotions that the most passionate rendering could not. The knowledge that the author is himself an escaped slave, a "first-hand witness" to such heinous acts perpetrated against the human race serves to add weight to his story. The line between fact and fiction is often blurred, but the gist of the emotions conveyed rings true. While I've read a few books that describe the plight of slaves, such as Roots, The Underground Railroad, Uncle Tom's Cabin and ended up shedding tears, Clotel left me aghast at the pain the author has painted through every story, every anecdote that he recounts.
Do read, but be warned that it requires an iron heart to stomach the atrocities visited on African Americans in those days.
… (mere)
Chandna_Agarwal | 5 andre anmeldelser | Apr 8, 2022 |
There is something audacious and true about this book, however fictional. The first time I came to the sentence calling Clotel the daughter of Thomas Jefferson I felt the boldness of that sentence, and the truth of it, that it was known even in 1853 that Jefferson had children who were slaves. The novel is not a novel in the strictest sense since much of it seems culled from the news and then re-enacted with fictional characters, something like a History Channel documentary will use scenes with actors in their documentaries to portray true events. Each short chapter reads as an episode culled from the news that was contemporary to the novel's publication. The use of fiction to portray real events is done very skillfully here, for example in a scene where the hypocrisy of a white slaveowner reading only those portions of the bible to his slaves that support their bondage is fully revealed, as well as the slaves' full understanding of that hypocrisy. Or when a white mistress comprehends for the first time that a slave's child looks like her husband. The discomfort of both white slaveowners and their darker-skinned slaves at the very existence of light- or white-skinned slaves is difficult to read about, but feels true as well. There are scenes written with great compassion, and sometimes with great brutality, of how slaves tried to escape, and how they were captured and punished for their attempt to escape. Heartbreaking, wrenching, revealing...amazing, especially if as a reader you can let go of the expectations you might have of what a "Novel" is meant to be, and read this instead as a part-indictment, part-historical re-enactment of human lives in the most desperate circumstances.
… (mere)
poingu | 5 andre anmeldelser | Jan 23, 2016 |


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