'The degradations, the wrongs, the vices, that grow out of slavery, are more than I can describe.' Harriet Jacobs was born a slave in the American South and went on to write one of the most extraordinary slave narratives. First published pseudonymously in 1861, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl describes Jacobs's treatment at the hands of ...
'The degradations, the wrongs, the vices, that grow out of slavery, are more than I can describe.' Harriet Jacobs was born a slave in the American South and went on to write one of the most extraordinary slave narratives. First published pseudonymously in 1861, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl describes Jacobs's treatment at the hands of her owners, her eventual escape to the North, and her perilous existence evading recapture as a fugitive slave. To save herself from sexual assault and protect her children she is forced to hide for seven years in a tiny attic space, suffering terrible psychological and physical pain. Written to expose the appalling treatment of slaves in the South and the racism of the free North, and to advance the abolitionist cause, Incidents is notable for its careful construction and literary effects. Jacobs's story of self-emancipation and a growing feminist consciousness is the tale of an individual and a searing indictment of slavery's inhumanity. This edition includes the short memoir by Jacobs's brother, John S. Jacobs, 'A True Tale of Slavery'. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
My mother read this before I did and we both enjoyed the book.
Aug 11, 2011
Best I've Read
This is the very best insight into the life of a slave I have ever read, by male or female. Written pre-Civil War, Harriet Jacobs gives the view of the terrible dynamics of a slave girl entering womanhood at only 12 years old -- and the horrible consequences of the "respected community medical doctor" who wickedly controls her life, and his wife who hates her for simply living and thus being a feminine target of her husband. She gives descri\ptions of the very rough lives of other slaves on nearby plantations. A very engrossing read. I gave my copy to my good friend going back to Africa, who is interested in the history of African Americans. A definite recommendation.
Sep 6, 2009
She's amazing. We all know that slavery was an awful abomination, but hearing this firsthand account knocked the wind from me. I was stunned and deeply moved.
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