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1 Burnside African American Studies- Slavery and Reconstruction

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Editions)

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover

ISBN13: 9780486419312
ISBN10: 0486419312
Condition: Standard
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Publisher Comments:

This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Jacobs speaks frankly of her master's abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith.

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Home School Book Review, July 2, 2013 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the first personal narratives by a slave and one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Harriet Jacobs (1813-97), who was a slave in North Carolina and suffered terribly, along with her family, at the hands of a ruthless owner, speaks frankly of her master's abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith. She made several failed attempts to escape before successfully making her way North, although it took years of hiding and slow progress. Eventually, she was reunited with her children.

Without telling the whole story here, Harriet Jacobs was born a slave in Edenton, NC, in 1813 In 1825, Margaret Horniblow died and willed the twelve-year-old Harriet to Horniblow's five-year-old niece. The girl's father, Dr. James Norcom, called "Dr. Flint" in the book, became Harriet's de facto master. Norcom sexually harassed Harriet. Hoping to escape his attentions, Jacobs took Samuel Sawyer, a free single white lawyer, as a consensual lover, with whom she had two children, Joseph and Louisa. By 1835 her domestic situation had become unbearable, and Harriet deftly managed to escape, hiding in the home of a sympathetic slaveowner in Edenton to keep an eye on her children. After a short stay, she took refuge in a swamp called Cabarrus Pocosin. She then hid in a crawl space above a shack in her grandmother Molly’s home for seven years before escaping by boat to Philadelphia, PA, in 1842. From there she went to New York in September 1845, and then to Boston to visit with her daughter, son and brother for ten months. In 1861, under the penname Linda Brent, she penned this book to encourage Northern women to speak out against the evils of slavery and support the war effort to end it.

The book was published in 1861 through the efforts of Maria Child, an abolitionist who edited the manuscript and wrote an introduction to it. It had its origin in a series of letters that Jacobs wrote between 1853 and 1861 to her friends in the abolitionist movement, notably a woman named Amy Post. Historically, there was some doubt about the authorship of the book and about the authenticity of the incidents it records, but these doubts have largely been put to rest by the discovery of the letters. The story has been “romanticized” by the use of pseudonyms to protect the privacy of individuals, but those involved claim that the incidents recounted in the narrative are "no fiction." It is not for small children. The “d” word is used several times in quotations, along with a few instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Jacobs does not shy away from exposing the brutality of slavery and the immorality of many slave holders, though the material is presented delicately. She also reveals her own culpability in the affair with Sawyer but express great sorrow and shame for her wrong. However, it is a great source of firsthand historical material for teens and adults regarding the effects of slavery.
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Skylah, June 3, 2011 (view all comments by Skylah)
Overall it was completely boring. I respect her life but as far as the book, I did not like it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780486419312
Preface:
Brent, Linda
Author:
Brent, Linda
Preface by:
Brent, Linda
Preface:
Brent, Linda
Author:
Jacobs, Harriet Ann
Author:
Jacobs, Maryce Ed.
Author:
Jacobs, Harriet
Author:
Dover Thrift Editions
Author:
Jacobs, Maryce Ed.
Author:
Jacobs
Author:
Jacobs, Harriet A.
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Location:
Mineola, NY
Subject:
General
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
Slaves
Subject:
Women slaves
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Subject:
Slaves -- United States.
Subject:
Women slaves -- United States.
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
American - African American
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Dover Thrift Editions
Series Volume:
no. 183
Publication Date:
20011131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 6
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.19 in 0.33 lb
Age Level:
from 11

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slave Narratives
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slavery and Reconstruction
History and Social Science » World History » General

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Editions) Used Trade Paper
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