Published in 1789, Equiano's autobiography was the first of its kind to influence a wide audience. He told the story of his life and suffering as a slave. He describes scenes of outrageous torture and made it clear to his readers how the institution of slavery dehumanized both owner and slave. Equiano's work became an important part of the abolitionist cause, because he was able to portray Africans with a humanity that many slave traders tried to deny. Anyone with an interest in the slave trade or the abolitionist movement will find this book essential reading. Nigerian slave and abolitionist OLAUDAH EQUIANO (1745-1797) was sold to white slavers when he was eleven and renamed Gustavas Vassa. He worked on a naval ship and fought during the Seven Years' War, which he felt earned him a right to freedom. Eventually, he was able to purchase his freedom and move to England, where he was safe from being captured back into slavery. There, he was an outspoken advocate of the abolitionist movement.
Classic Books Library 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.
"The Life of Olaudah Equiano" is one of the earliest-known examples of published writing by an African writer and the first influential slave narrative of what became a large literary genre. Equiano's autobiography helped in the creation of the Slave Trade Act 1807 which ended the African slave trade for Britain and its colonies. Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745 – 1797), known in his lifetime as Gustavus Vassa was a freed slave of Igbo extraction from the eastern part of present-day Nigeria, who supported the British movement to end the slave trade.
Olaudah Equiano was one of the most prominent people of African heritage involved in the British debate for the abolition of the slave trade. He wrote an autobiography that depicted the horrors of slavery and helped influence British lawmakers to abolish the slave trade through the Slave Trade Act of 1807. This is his story. I hope the reader will not think I have trespassed on his patience in introducing myself to him with some account of the manners and customs of my country. They had been implanted in me with great care, and made an impression on my mind, which time could not erase, and which all the adversity and variety of fortune I have since experienced served only to rivet and record; for, whether the love of one's country be real or imaginary, or a lesson of reason, or an instinct of nature, I still look back with pleasure on the first scenes of my life, though that pleasure has been for the most part mingled with sorrow.-Olaudah Equiano
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 Allison s introduction, which places Equiano s 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 Equiano s 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.
Kidnapped at the age of 11 from his home in Benin, Africa, Olaudah Equiano spent the next 11 years as a slave in England, the U.S., and the West Indies, until he was able to buy his freedom. His autobiography, published in 1789, was a bestseller in its own time. Cameron has modernized and shortened it while remaining true to the spirit of the original. It's a gripping story of adventure, betrayal, cruelty, and courage. In searing scenes, Equiano describes the savagery of his capture, the appalling conditions on the slave ship, the auction, and the forced labor. . . . Kids will read this young man's story on their own; it will also enrich curriculum units on history and on writing. From the Trade Paperback edition.
'I hope the slave trade may be abolished. I pray it may be an event at hand.'Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative, in which the author describes his birth in Africa, his enslavement and transportation to America, and his journey from slavery to freedom, was published just a few days before the British parliament first debated the abolition of the slave trade in 1789. As a first-hand account of the horrors ofslavery, it was a vital part of the campaign to end that 'accursed trade', but the book is far more than merely a political pamphlet. It is the most important African autobiography of the eighteenth century, telling the story of alife of high adventure on land and sea, from the Caribbean to the North Pole via America, Turkey, and Great Britain, in a style that remains lively and engaging to this day.This new edition includes an introduction surveying the recent debates about Equiano's birthplace and identity, and showing how the book achieved its increasingly central position among the great works of eighteenth-century literature.
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his autobiography : the interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African
Author: Olaudah Equiano
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Olaudah Equiano was born in 1745 in a village east of the Niger River in what is now Nigeria. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African was published in London in 1789. This is his own account of a remarkable life. At the age of ten he was captured by slave-traders and taken to the southern states of America. He was sold to a planter in the West Indies and worked there and aboard slave ships sailing between the Caribbean and England. At the age of twenty-one he had saved enough money to buy his freedom. He visited the Mediterranean, took part in Phipps' expedition to the Arctic in 1773 and crossed the Atlantic several times. He was an ardent member of the Movement for the Abolition of Slavery and was appointed Commissary for Stores when the freed slaves were settled in Sierra Leone. This abridged edition has a new introduction by Professor Ogude of the University of Benin, together with explanatory notes on the text.
The autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, a prominent African in late 18th-century Britain, is quoted, anthologized and interpreted in dozens of books and articles. More than any single contemporary, Equiano speaks for the fate of millions of Africans in the era of the transatlantic slave trade. This study attempts to create a rounded portrait of the man behind the literary image, and to study Equiano in the context of Atlantic slavery.
This revised edition of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself, with Related Documents continues to offer a vivid account of the eighteenth-century Western world through the experiences of one individual. Robert J. Allison's introduction, which places Equiano's narrative in the context of the Atlantic slave trade, has been revised and updated to reflect the latest scholarship surrounding this topic. Additions to the Related Documents include a contemporary review of The Narrative, as well as excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and the debate over the Slave Trade at the Constitutional Convention, which serve to anchor Equiano’s story within the U.S. history narrative. Helpful footnotes provide guidance throughout the eighteenth-century text, and a chronology and updated Questions for Consideration and Selected Bibliography aid students in their study of this thought-provoking narrative.