While writing my novel Escape
, I used Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
to help me in my research. For those unfamiliar with Harriet Jacob
s' narrative, it provides a fascinating, heartbreaking and almost unbelievable account of a slave girl's life and her eventual pursuit of freedom for herself and her children.
According to Wikipedia
, Jacobs began writing Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
while living and working at Idlewild, the Hudson River home of writer and publisher Nathaniel Parker Willis, who was fictionalized in the book as Mr. Bruce. Portions of the book were published in serial form in the New-York Tribune
, owned and edited by Horace Greeley. Jacobs's reports of sexual abuse were considered too shocking to the average newspaper reader of the day, and publication ceased before the completion of the narrative.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
was published as a complete work in 1861. The book was originally written as a way for Jacobs to tell her story and assist in the efforts of the abolitionist movement. It was also hoped that it would appeal to white affluent middle class women. At that time, they were the ones most likely to read this type of literature. When the book was published, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was still in existence. This made it a felony for anyone who found a runaway slave not to return the slave to his/her owner. The events in the book displayed the extraordinary impact of the Fugitive Slave Act and its influence on the actions of those in the north as well as the south.
If you enjoy American history, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
is well worth reading! Thanks for visiting and have a great week!
I'll have to look for it.
I read that book years ago and really liked it. I must second your recommendation! :)
@William: It really is fascinating!
@Lydia: It was quite an eye-opening read!
I'll look for it!
@Norma: I think you'll enjoy it!
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