Synopses & Reviews
More than just a fascinating story, Olaudah Equiano's autobiography--the first slave narrative to be widely read--reveals many aspects of the eighteenth-century Western world through the experiences of one individual. The second edition takes into consideration the latest scholarship on Atlantic history and the history of slavery. Professor Allisons introduction, which places Equianos narrative in the context of the Atlantic slave trade, has been revised and updated to include a discussion of the geographic origins of African slaves and the debate over Equianos birthplace. Expanded and improved pedagogical features include contemporary illustrations with extensive captions and a map showing the travels of Equiano in more detail. Helpful footnotes provide guidance throughout the eighteenth-century text, and a chronology and an up-to-date bibliography aid students in their study of this thought-provoking narrative.
In May 1769, soon after our return from Turkey, our ship made a delightful voyage to Oporto in Portugal, where we arrived at the time of the carnival. On our arrival, there were sent on board to us thirty-six articles to observe, with very heavy penalties if we should break any of them; and none of us even dared to go on board any other vessel or on shore till the Inquisition had sent on board and searched for every thing illegal, especially bibles. Such as were produced, and certain other things, were sent on shore till the ships were going away; and any person in whose custody a bible was found concealed was to be imprisoned and flogged.
Edited and with Notes by Shelly Eversley
Introduction by Robert Reid-Pharr
In this truly astonishing eighteenth-century memoir, Olaudah Equiano recounts his remarkable life story, which begins when he is kidnapped in Africa as a boy and sold into slavery and culminates when he has achieved renown as a British antislavery advocate. The narrative "is a strikingly beautiful monument to the startling combination of skill, cunning, and plain good luck that allowed him to win his freedom, write his story, and gain international prominence," writes Robert Reid-Pharr in his Introduction. "He alerts us to the very concerns that trouble modern intellectuals, black, white, and otherwise, on both sides of the Atlantic."
The text of this Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the definitive ninth edition of 1794, reflecting the author's final changes to his masterwork.
About the Author
Robert J. Allison
is Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Suffolk University.
Table of Contents
Part One: Equiano's Worlds
* Part Two: The Document
* Dedication * The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself *
An Equiano Chronology * Questions for Consideration * Map of Equiano’s Travels
Part One: Equiano's Worlds * Part Two: The Document * Dedication * The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself * An Equiano Chronology * Questions for Consideration * Map of Equiano’s Travels