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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Written by Herself
by Harriet Jacobs
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From Library Journal
Published in 1861, this was one of the first personal narratives by a slave and one of the few written by a woman. Jacobs (1813-97) was a slave in North Carolina and suffered terribly, along with her family, at the hands of a ruthless owner. She made several failed attempts to escape before successfully making her way North, though it took years of hiding and slow progress. Eventually, she was reunited with her children. For all biography and history collections.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister
"Slavery is terrible for men, but it is far more terrible for women," Harriet Jacobs wrote in 1861. At that time she was an escaped slave living in the north, but the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 meant that she could not longer consider being in the northern states a guarantee of freedom or safety. Her book is an eloquent recital of the suffering that is slavery. Families broken apart; promises of freedom made but never kept; whippings, beatings, and burnings; masters selling their own children - all are recounted with precise detail and a blazing indignation. Harriet Jacobs' master started pursuing her when she was fifteen; in disgust she continually refused and avoided him. Her first attempt at revenge and escape failed: she became the lover of a local unmarried white man and had several children, but even then her master refused to sell her. Finally, in desperation, she ran away and hid in an uninsulated garret, three feet high at its tallest point with almost no air or light. She stayed there for seven years, enduring cold, heat, and a crippling lack of movement, always hoping to catch a glimpse of her children through a crack in the walls as they walked by on the road below her. At last she had a chance to escape to the North. Her story is a remarkable testimony to her strength and courage, and an unrelenting attack upon the institution of slavery. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14.
Louise Meriwether Harriet Jacobs in her narrative reveals how she refused to be victimized within her own mind, but rather chose to act instead from a steadfast conviction of her own worth....Hers is an example worth emulating even in these modern times.
Edited by L. Maria Child
Published For The Author in 1861.
This is a real life account of enslavement, degradation and sexual exploitation; it is just as relevant today as it was first published in 1861, for slavery and racism still exist today under various guises, names, shapes and shades.
From the Back Cover
39 New and Revised Titles. The Best Just Got Better! Plus Glossary from Webster's new world Dictionary Anthem Atlas Shrugged Beowulf Brave New World The Canterbury Tales The Catcher in the Rye The Contender The Crucible The Fountainhead Frankenstein The Grapes of Wrath Great Expectations The Great Gatsby Hamlet Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer Huckleberry Finn The Iliad Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Inherit the Wind Jane Eyre Julius Caesar The Killer Angels King Lear The Lord of the Flies Macbeth 1984 The Odyssey The Oedipus Trilogy The Once and Future King Othello The Outsiders Pride and Prejudice The Red Badge of Courage Romeo and Juliet The Scarlet Letter A Separate Peace A Tale of Two Cities To Kill a Mockingbird Wuthering Heights See inside for the complete line-up of available CliffsNotes! Check Out the All-New CliffsNotes Guides To AOL®, iMacs, eBay®, Windows® 98, Investing, Creating Web Pages, and more! More Than Notes! CliffsComplete CliffsTestPrep CliffsQuickReview CliffsAP Over 300 CliffsNotes Available @ cliffsnotes.com Downloadable 24 hours a day Free daily e-mail newsletters Free tips, tricks, and trivia Free online CliffsNotes catalog Free self-assessment tools Freeware and shareware downloads
About the Author
Harriet Jacobs (c. 1813-1897) was born in Edenton, North Carolina, and taught to read and sew by one of her owners after her mother's death in about 1819. A fervent reader and ardent abolitionist, she originally published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl in 1861, under the pseudonym Linda Brent.
Nell Irvin Painter is Edwards Professor of History at Princeton University, where she currently heads the program in African-American Studies. She is the author of several acclaimed books and editor of the Penguin Classics edition of the Narrative of Sojourner Truth.
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