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Olaudah Equiano The Incredible Life of Olaudah Equiano, A British Ex-Slave

Olaudah Equiano The Life Story of Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano OLAUDAH EQUIANO'S INCREDIBLE LIFE NARRATIVE - Autobiography of the Former Slave, Seaman & Freedom Fighter

Olaudah Equiano The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African

Olaudah Equiano The Life of Olaudah Equiano, Gustavus Vassa the African

Olaudah Equiano The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano


A remarkable account of early slavery and later freedom, «The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano» is the 1789 autobiography of former slave Olaudah Equiano. His life is a tale of terror, as well as an exciting adventure. He tells of his abduction from Africa at the age of ten, and his subsequent years of labor on slave ships. During and after this time, he fervently attempts to gain independence: he studies the Bible and carefully saves his money. After surviving a decade in this way, Equiano is able to purchase his own freedom in 1766. What follows is his success in business, in literacy, and in his outspoken condemnation of the slave trade. Considered an admirable precursor to such slave narratives as that of Frederick Douglass, Equiano's degraded youth and respected later life in England is told with verve and sophistication in this spirited quest for fulfillment.

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Olaudah Equiano The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano


A remarkable account of early slavery and later freedom, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” is the 1789 autobiography of former slave Olaudah Equiano. His life is a tale of terror as well as an exciting adventure. He tells of his abduction from Africa at the age of ten, and his subsequent years of labor on slave ships. During and after this time, he fervently attempts to gain independence. He studies the Bible and carefully saves his money. After surviving a decade in this way, Equiano is able to purchase his own freedom in 1766. What follows is his success in business, in literacy, and in his outspoken condemnation of the slave trade. Considered an admirable precursor to such slave narratives as that of Frederick Douglass, Equiano’s degraded youth and respected later life in England is told with verve and sophistication in this spirited quest for fulfillment.

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Olaudah Equiano The Life of Olaudah Equiano


Slave narratives are powerful indictments of the horrors of slavery and oppression, invaluable not only for the stories they tell but also for the consistently high quality of their literary style. This book by Olaudah Equiano is one such story. A compelling account that has gripped and fascinated readers since its original London publication in 1789, the narrative describes Equiano's formidable journey from captivity to freedom and literacy.Charting a passage that takes him from life as an Igbo prince in what is now eastern Nigeria to the New World, Equiano begins with a description of his native land that includes particulars of the dress, agriculture, industry, commerce, rituals, superstitions, and religious ceremonies of his country. In stark and poignant detail he gives a compelling account of his kidnapping and his ordeal aboard the slave ship, his service in the French and Indian wars, as well as many other of his vicissitudes and adventures until he finally settles in England, where he becomes a key figure in the British abolitionist movement.Skillfully written with a wealth of grossing detail, this volume powerfully illustrates the nature of the black experience in slavery, making it essential reading for students of African-American history and anyone interested in the struggle for equal rights and human dignity.

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Olaudah Equiano Vassa The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.


Read & Co. History presents this brand new edition of “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African”, an autobiography published in 1798. Equiano (c. 1745-1797) was an African writer and abolitionist, who was taken into slavery as a child and transported to the British colony of Virginia. This personal account depicts the narrative of Equiano’s life during his years as a slave: from being purchased as a valet to a Royal Navy Lieutenant and his consequent journeys at sea; to being taught to read and write in Britain; and then his placement with Robert King, the wealthy trader who would eventually allow him to buy his freedom. Equiano’s memoirs were published 22 years after his release, once he had settled in London and became involved in the abolitionist movement. The work is one of the earliest published by a black African author, and achieved far-reaching popularity and critical acclaim, ultimately contributing to the passing of the British Slave Trade Act of 1807.

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Equiano Olaudah The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African - The Original Classic Edition


The Interesting Narrative (1789) is one of the earliest slave narratives, a genre that includes classics such as Uncle Toms Cabin (1852), Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) and neo-slave narratives like Alex Haleys Roots (1976), Toni Morrisons Beloved (1987) and Edward P. Jones The Known World (2003). What makes Olaudah Equianos account unique is that is was the first slave narrative to find a wide audience, and it is not hard to understand why – not only is it a good story, but it is very well written, almost literary – it sold so well it was a cornerstone in bringing about public sympathy and support for the abolition of the slavery in England. <p> Just about everything we know about Olaudah Equiano is from his autobiography. He was born around 1745 in Africa, kidnapped and enslaved at the age of 10 or 11 and shipped across the Middle Passage to the West Indies, and soon after to a Virginia plantation (he was too small to work the sugar cane fields). From there he had the good fortune to be purchased by the captain of a British warship, where he learned English manners, language and customs – and a promise of freedom. But, in one of the great blows of his life, he was tricked and sold back into slavery in the West Indies, where he worked on merchant ships for a number of years, finally able to save enough money (trading fruits and rum between ports of call) to buy his freedom in his early 20s. He then spent years as a freed man working on merchant and military ships traveling extensively around the Atlantic, including a trip to the Arctic. His close calls with death were many, including disease, shipwrecks and run-ins with whites who would beat him to within an inch of his life. Equiano eventually settled down in England, married a white girl, had two children and died a wealthy and respected gentleman, a remarkable achievement for a former African slave in the 18th century. <p> _The Interesting Narrative_ can be read on multiple levels. It is a fascinating first-hand document of 18th century British mercantilism, showing the Atlantic Golden Triangle in action. It is a story of Christian redemption – by following the teachings of the Bible, and those who transgress against it, Equiano explains why things turn out how they do. It is one of the great works of travel literature; exotic locales and death-defying adventures fill the pages. It is a powerful expose of 18th century slavery, unflinchingly detailing the institutionalized horrors and how both victim and victimizer are turned into animals. It is a call for action to end the slave trade. <p> In the end, we read books like this today with a certain amount of curious detachment, it has been about 150 years since slavery ended – or has it? Some 27 million slaves – more than twice the number of people taken from Africa during the entire 350 year history of the Africa slave trade – today toil in rich and poor countries around the world. Most Americans probably know more about slavery as it once existed, than as it is currently being practiced in their own time, directly touched by the cheap goods we purchase. Reading Equianos account we cant help but be moved against slavery, all slavery, historical or contemporary, and for that the book has immortal value.

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Olaudah Equiano – Wikipedia

Olaudah Equiano (alias Gustavo Vassa) (* 1745 in Igbo, im heutigen Nigeria; † 31. März 1797 in Middlesex) war als ehemaliger Sklave, ein Kämpfer für das Verbot des Sklavenhandels und der Verfasser einer damals sehr berühmten Autobiographie Biografie. Equiano wurde als 10-jähriger Junge von Sklavenjägern gefangen, an die Küste transportiert und dort an Sklavenhändler verkauft. Er ...

Olaudah Equiano | Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the ...

Olaudah Equiano was the first political activist within Britain’s African community during the 18th century. According to his famous autobiography, he was kidnapped at the age of 11 and enslaved. The ill-treatment he received and the suffering of Africans inspired Equiano to join the campaign to abolish the so called ‘transatlantic slave trade’. READ MORE Latest News & Events. PHILLIS ...

Olaudah Equiano - Wikipedia

Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745 – 31 March 1797), known for most of his life as Gustavus Vassa (/ ˈ v æ s ə /), was a writer and abolitionist from, according to his memoir, the Eboe region of the Kingdom of Benin (today southern Nigeria). Enslaved as a child, he was taken to the Caribbean and sold as a slave to a Royal Navy officer. He was sold twice more but purchased his freedom in 1766.

BBC - History - Olaudah Equiano

In his autobiography, Olaudah Equiano writes that he was born in the Eboe province, in the area that is now southern Nigeria. He describes how he was kidnapped with his sister at around the age of ...

Olaudah Equiano Biography -Biography Online

Olaudah Equiano writes that he was born in Nigeria in the year 1745 – a member of the Igbo tribe. Aged 11, he was kidnapped, along with sisters, by native slave-holders; after being sold to European slave traders, he was then packed into a slave ship and transferred across the Atlantic to Barbados. Equiano eventually ended up the British colony of Virginia. As a slave, he was given different ...

Olaudah Equiano | Biography & Facts | Britannica

Olaudah Equiano, self-proclaimed West African sold into slavery and later freed. His 1789 autobiography was immensely popular, and he is considered the originator of the slave narrative, although there is controversy regarding his birth. Learn more about Equiano’s life.

About Equiano | Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano rose to prominence in the late 18th century as the leading black campaigner for the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. His book “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African” was one of the earliest firsthand accounts of life in Africa, the horrors of the Middle Passage and enslavement. The book was an important tool in ...

The Equiano Project | Olaudah Equiano

Using Olaudah Equiano’s contemporary, extraordinary, autobiographical account The Equiano Project drew together all the major themes connected to political and social history, exploration, literature, the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its Abolition. The project was multimedia and multidisciplinary and consisted of: The Equiano Exhibition (from 29th September 2007 to January ...

How To Say Olaudah Equiano - YouTube

Learn how to say Olaudah Equiano with EmmaSaying free pronunciation tutorials. Definition and meaning can be found here: https://www.google.com/search?q=defi...

Olaudah Equiano - Wikipedia

Olaudah Equiano, noto anche come Gustavus Vassa (Essaka, 1745 circa – Londra, 31 marzo 1797), è stato uno scrittore e attivista nigeriano del XVIII secolo.. Nato in Nigeria nel villaggio di Essaka in quello che oggi è il sud della Nigeria, visse principalmente nel Regno Unito e nelle colonie britanniche in America.Sostenne il movimento britannico per porre fine alla tratta degli schiavi.

The Equiano Society | Olaudah Equiano

The Equiano Society The Society was formed in London in November 1996. Its main objective is to publicise and celebrate the life and work of Olaudah Equiano.The society also celebrates and publicises the achievements of Equiano’s contemporaries: Ignatius Sancho, Phillis Wheatley, Ottobah Cugoano, and others who made outstanding contributions to African literary and cultural heritage.

The Life of Olaudah Equiano Summary | GradeSaver

Essays for The Life of Olaudah Equiano. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. Abolition, Ethnicity, and Identity in The Interesting Narrative

Olaudah Equiano (Gustavus Vassa) | Westminster Abbey

In St Margaret's church Westminster is an oval memorial tablet to author and slave abolitionist Olaudah Equiano who was baptized in that church when he was a slave. It was unveiled, at the west end near the font, on 9th February 2009 by the Archbishop of York and the sculptor was Marcia Bennett-Male.The inscription reads: 'THE AFRICAN' OLAUDAH EQUIANO Baptized Gustavus Vassa in this church 9 ...

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano ...

Olaudah Equiano, kidnapped at age 11, became one of the most prominent English abolitionists of the 18th century. His narrative is extremely valuable not only for the wealth of information it presents on children's experiences in the slave trade, but also for those examining the abolitionist movement in England during this period of time. Many Africans who survived the coffles and made their ...

Olaudah Equiano - Wikipedia

Olaudah Equiano (Essaka, ca.1745 – Londen, 31 maart 1797), ook bekend als Gustavus Vassa, was een achttiende-eeuwse koopman en schrijver van Afrikaanse afkomst die in Groot-Brittanni ë en de Britse kolonies leefde. Hij was een belangrijk abolitionist. Leven. Volgens zijn autobiografie begon zijn leven in Essaka (nu gespeld als Isseke) aan de rivier de Niger in Nigeria. Men spreekt er Igbo ...

Olaudah Equiano - Spartacus Educational

Olaudah Equiano was born in Essaka, an Igbo village in the kingdom of Benin (now Nigeria) in 1745. His father was one of the province's elders who decided disputes. According to James Walvin "Equiano described his father as a local Igbo eminence and slave owner". When he was about eleven, Equiano was kidnapped and after six months of captivity he was brought to the coast where he encountered ...

Merkwürdige Lebensgeschichte des Sklaven Olaudah Equiano ...

Die in dem Buch geschilderte Biografie, ist die Geschichte des Sklaven Olaudah Equiano, der 1745 im heutigen Nigeria geboren im Kindesalter von Afrikanern entführt und in die Sklaverei verkauft wurde. Nach einigen Jahren bei Leutnant Pascal, der ihm den Besuch der Schule ermöglichte, wurde er 20jährig wieder in die Sklaverei gegeben, aus der er sich selbst freikaufte. Seine Reisen durch ...

Olaudah Equiano - History Crunch - History Articles ...

Olaudah Equiano’s account was a slave narrative titled ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African’ but is more commonly known as ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano’. It was published in 1789. At the time, there were very few slave narratives, and his account of his experiences shocked readers. This is exactly why ...

Who Was Olaudah Equiano? Slave, Sailor, Abolitionist ...

What was Olaudah Equiano’s life like in England? Upon his arrival in Falmouth, Equiano – who had been renamed Gustavus Vassa (after the 16th-century Swedish King) by his new master – began to adjust to his new life, observing English customs and discovering a deep interest in literacy. Books were a constant source of curiosity to him. Believing that he could converse with them, Equiano ...

Equiano, O: Life of Olaudah Equiano: Amazon.de: Equiano ...

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Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African

Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) was an eighteenth-century African writer, antislavery activist, mariner, explorer, and Britain's first black civil servant. According to his famous autobiography, written in 1789, Equiano was born in what is now Nigeria. Kidnapped and sold into slavery in childhood, he was taken as a slave to the New World. As a slave to a captain in the Royal Navy, and later to a ...

Excerpts from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of ...

Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African, 1791. Text. Excerpt I. Enslavement. My father, besides many slaves, had a numerous family, of which seven lived to grow up, including myself and a sister, who was the only daughter. As I was the youngest of the sons, I became, of course, the greatest favourite of my mother, and was always ...

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano ...

Olaudah Equiano created a record of the 18th century slave trade through his first-hand knowledge and experiences and the writing of this book. Born in Eboe, Africa, what is now Nigeria, he begins by describing life in Eboe and illustrates the cultural, religious, and moral aspects of African life as he knew and understood them. In 1756, at the age of 11, he was kidnapped, torn from his family ...

Olaudah Equiano – Facts, Bio, Family, Life, Info | Sticky ...

Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745 – 31 March 1797), also known as Gustavus Vassa, was one of the most prominent Africans involved in the British movement towards the abolition of the slave trade. His autobiography depicted the horrors of slavery and helped influence British lawmakers to abolish the slave trade through the Slave Trade Act of 1807. Despite his enslavement as a young man, he purchased ...

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano ...

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: or, Gustavus Vassa, the African | Equiano, Olaudah | ISBN: 9781507503010 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon.

Olaudah Equiano. The Power of the Slave Narrative ...

Olaudah Equiano became involved in the Sierra Leone settlement for the re-homing of freed slaves, but is most famously remembered as the author of The Interesting Narrative which was published in 1789 and became an eighteenth-century bestseller . 8 The Narrative reached a wide audience and was very effective in gaining the public’s attention; by 1837 there were sixteen editions of the ...

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano ...

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Gustavus Vassa, The African Written By Himself: Amazon.de: Equiano, Olaudah: Fremdsprachige Bücher

Olaudah Equiano: An Illustrated Biography

Olaudah Equiano: An Illustrated Biography Almost everything we know about the first ten years of Equiano's life we find from Equiano's own account in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, published in 1789.In this, Equiano tells us that he was born around the year 1745 in an area called 'Eboe' in Guinea.

1789 | Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano – An Extraordinary Life (1745 – 1797) BLUMENBACH Nuance Lost in Translation Interpretation; The Interesting Narrative – German Edition 1792; Equiano – An Extraordinary Life – 2020

The Life of Olaudah Equiano Characters | GradeSaver

Olaudah Equiano. The narrator of the autobiography, Equiano is an educated, intelligent, and ambitious former slave who intends to showcase the horrors of the slave trade in order to spur on the abolitionist cause.

Olaudah Equiano, The African - YouTube

"Olaudah Equiano, The African," a podcast by Dr. Katherine Bankole-Medina. IMAGES/PHOTOGRAPHIC SOURCES/CREDIT: Katherine Bankole-Medina Collection; "Fugitive...

Equiano, Olaudah | Encyclopedia.com

Equiano, Olaudahc. 1745 Nigeria, Africa 1797 England Freedman, sailor, author, and abolitionist "The next day proved a day of greater sorrow than I had yet experienced; for my sister and I were then separated, while we lay clasped in each other's arms."From The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Source for information on Equiano, Olaudah: Colonial America Reference Library ...

Olaudah Equiano - NOFI

Olaudah Equiano (vers 1745-1797), également connu sous son nom occidental de Gustavus Vassa est un esclave affranchi, commerçant, activiste et écrivain originaire de l’ethnie igbo (actuel Nigéria du Sud-Est). Son auto-biographie, très populaire dès sa sortie, a grandement contribué à l’abolition de l’esclavage dans les colonies britanniques.

Amazon.com: The Life of Olaudah Equiano (9781945644917 ...

Unabridged English value reproduction of The Life of Olaudah Equiano. This classic is a must read because Olaudah writes as if the reader is right there with him, relating his story, feeling his success and his pains. It is the engrossing story in living detail of an Igbo prince, his enslavement, and freedom. This is the book that, through its nine popular editions, was influential in turning ...

Olaudah Equiano - History

Olaudah Equiano was born in 1745 in the African country that is now Nigeria. The adults worked in the fields during the day leaving the children to fend for themselves in the village. Older children were often given the task of acting as lookouts and if they saw any traders approaching the village they would let out a loud cry. Olaudah and his sister were in the hut when they heard the cry ...

Olaudah Equiano — Wikipédia

Olaudah Equiano, né en 1745 à Isseke au Biafra, au sud-est de l'actuel Nigeria, et mort dans le Cambridgeshire le 31 mars 1797, plus connu en son temps sous le nom de Gustave Vassa (ou Vasa) [1], est un esclave affranchi, marin et écrivain britannique calviniste [1] d'origine nigériane, qui vécut principalement dans les colonies britanniques d'Amérique et au Royaume-Uni.

The Life of Olaudah Equiano Chapter I Summary and Analysis ...

Summary. Equiano begins his Narrative by acknowledging how memoir writers often must defend themselves against claims of vanity. Further, people expect memoirs to have dramatic events and great personages if they are to be interesting. Equiano apologizes that he is "neither a saint, a hero, nor a tyrant;" he is merely lucky enough to have been favored by Heaven, which he believes has blessed ...

Olaudah Equiano Facts - Softschools.com

Olaudah Equiano was an African slave in London who gained his freedom, helped to support the end of slavery in Britain, and wrote about it in his autobiography. He was born in Nigeria in 1745 into the Igbo tribe. At the age of eleven Olaudah Equiano was kidnapped, along with his sister, and sold into slavery. He was sold several times until he was finally shipped to the Barbados and then to ...

Olaudah Equiano, Author Info, Published Books, Bio, Photo ...

Olaudah Equiano (1745 – 31 March 1797) was a freed slave who supported the British movement to end the slave trade. His autobiography, published in 1789, helped in the creation of the Slave Trade Act 1807 which ended the African trade for Britain and its colonies. His last "owner" was Robert King, an American Quaker merchant who allowed Equiano to purchase his freedom in 1766. Equiano ...

Olaudah Equiano: La dolorosa autobiografía de un esclavo ...

Entonces se honrará la vida de Olaudah Equiano y millones de africanos esclavizados que murieron para satisfacer el placer por el dulce, el licor, el tabaco y enriquecer a la nobleza de Europa. Rebloguear. Compartir. Tuitear. Compartir. Nuestro objetivo es crear una comunidad segura y respetuosa de cada uno de sus miembros. A fin de mejorar la experiencia de nuestra comunidad y mientras ...

The Life of Olaudah Equiano Quotes and Analysis | GradeSaver

Essays for The Life of Olaudah Equiano. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. Abolition, Ethnicity, and Identity in The Interesting Narrative

How to pronounce olaudah equiano | HowToPronounce.com

How to say olaudah equiano in English? Pronunciation of olaudah equiano with 2 audio pronunciations, 1 translation, 4 sentences and more for olaudah equiano.

Olaudah Equiano: The Problem of Identity

Olaudah Equiano: The Problem of Identity. Jim Egan Brown University. When Vincent Carretta argued in “Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa? New Light on Eighteenth-Century Question of Identity” in a 1999 issue of Slavery and Abolition that the eighteenth-century author might have been born in South Carolina rather than Africa, as Equiano himself states in The Interesting Narrative, a ...

Olaudah Equiano Biography - Childhood, Life Achievements ...

Olaudah Equiano was a prominent Black activist who worked hard to put an end to slave trade in Britain and its colonies. Once a slave himself, Equiano personally experienced the hardship, turmoil, and forbidding treatment meted out to slaves by the Britain’s upper class. The experience left a deep impact on the enslaved Equiano, who even lost his identity to his master as he universally ...

Olaudah Equiano Biography | Infoplease

Olaudah Equiano. Gustavus Vassa abolitionist, writer Born: c. 1745 Birthplace: present day Nigeria. An Igbo, Equiano was captured and sold into slavery as a child. He was taken to the West Indies where his slave name became Gustavus, after a 16th century Swedish king. Taught to read and write, he was able to purchase his own freedom. Equiano made his way to London, where he worked briefly in a ...

Olaudah Equiano’s 272nd Birthday - Google Search

Olaudah Equiano’s 272nd Birthday Born in Nigeria, African writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano was sold into slavery as a boy. He braved the harsh conditions of the Middle Passage to the ...

Olaudah Equiano Quotes (Author of The Interesting ...

7 quotes from Olaudah Equiano: '...and I had a great curiosity to talk to the books, as I thought they did; and so to learn how all things had a beginning: for that purpose I have often taken up a book, and have talked to it, and then put my ears to it, when alone, in hopes it would answer me; and I have been very much concerned when I found it remained silent.', 'When we have had some of ...

Charlotte Sussman Eighteenth Century English Literature


This engaging book introduces new readers of eighteenth-century texts to some of the major works, authors, and debates of a key period of literary history. Rather than simply providing a chronological survey of the era, this book analyzes the impact of significant cultural developments on literary themes and forms – including urbanization, colonial, and mercantile expansion, the emergence of the «public sphere,» and changes in sex and gender roles. In eighteenth-century Britain, many of the things we take for granted about modern life were shockingly new: women appeared for the first time on stage; the novel began to dominate the literary marketplace; people entertained the possibility that all human beings were created equal, and tentatively proposed that reason could triumph over superstition; ministers became more powerful than kings, and the consumer emerged as a political force. Eighteenth-Century English Literature: 1660-1789 explores these issues in relation to well-known works by such authors as Defoe, Swift, Pope, Richardson, Gray, and Sterne, while also bringing attention to less familiar figures, such as Charlotte Smith, Mary Leapor, and Olaudah Equiano. It offers both an ideal introduction for students and a fresh approach for those with research interests in the period.

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Hoang Gia Phan Bonds of Citizenship


In this study of literature and law from the Constitutional founding through the Civil War, Hoang Gia Phan demonstrates how American citizenship and civic culture were profoundly transformed by the racialized material histories of free, enslaved, and indentured labor. Bonds of Citizenship illuminates the historical tensions between the legal paradigms of citizenship and contract, and in the emergence of free labor ideology in American culture. Phan argues that in the age of Emancipation the cultural attributes of free personhood became identified with the legal rights and privileges of the citizen, and that individual freedom thus became identified with the nation-state. He situates the emergence of American citizenship and the American novel within the context of Atlantic slavery and Anglo-American legal culture, placing early American texts by Hector St. John de Cr&#232;vec&#339;ur, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Brockden Brown alongside Black Atlantic texts by Ottobah Cugoano and Olaudah Equiano. Beginning with a revisionary reading of the Constitution&#8217;s &#8220;slavery clauses,&#8221; Phan recovers indentured servitude as a transitional form of labor bondage that helped define the key terms of modern U.S. citizenship: mobility, volition, and contract. Bonds of Citizenship demonstrates how citizenship and civic culture were transformed by antebellum debates over slavery, free labor, and national Union, while analyzing the writings of Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville alongside a wide-ranging archive of lesser-known antebellum legal and literary texts in the context of changing conceptions of constitutionalism, property, and contract. Situated at the nexus of literary criticism, legal studies, and labor history, Bonds of Citizenship challenges the founding fiction of a pro-slavery Constitution central to American letters and legal culture.

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