The Resource Clotel & other writings, William Wells Brown ; Ezra Greenspan, editor

Clotel & other writings, William Wells Brown ; Ezra Greenspan, editor

Clotel & other writings
Clotel & other writings
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William Wells Brown ; Ezra Greenspan, editor
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William Wells Brown, Clotel & other writings
Born a slave and kept functionally illiterate until he escaped at age nineteen, William Wells Brown (1814-1884) refashioned himself first as an agent of the Underground Railroad and then as an antislavery activist and self-taught orator and author, eventually becoming a foundational figure of African American literature. For his bicentennial, the Library of America presents the most comprehensive edition of Brown's writing ever published, an extraordinary collection of landmark works that together give voice to his passionate commitment to freedom and equality. A gripping account of his childhood, life in slavery, and eventual escape, Brown's first published book, Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (1847), was an immediate bestseller, with four editions in its first year. Like Frederick Douglass's Narrative, the only slave autobiography to sell more copies before the Civil War, it unmasks the hypocrisy of Christian slaveholders and exposes with startling intensity the violence of slave life. Clotel; or, the President's Daughter (1853), the first novel written by an African American and Brown's most ambitious work, purports to be the history of Thomas Jefferson's black daughters and granddaughters. Dramatizing the victimization of black women under slavery, the novel measures the yawning chasm between America's founding ideals and the brutal realities of bondage. Having traveled to Europe in 1849, Brown elected to remain there after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, not returning to America until 1854. The American Fugitive in Europe: Sketches of Places and People Abroad (1855) is the expanded version of Brown's pioneering travelogue, recounting his intial trip to Paris as a delegate to the International Peace Congress and his extensive tours through the United Kingdom as an antislavery lecturer. The first published play by an African American, Brown's The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom (1858) portrays a slave woman's escape from the sexual aggression of her white master. Published in the autumn of 1862 as the nation awaited President Lincoln's final Emancipation Proclamation, The Black Man, His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements highlights black men of accomplishment and influence whose lives "surmounted the many obstacles which slavery and prejudice have thrown in their way." My Southern Home: or, The South and Its People (1880), Brown's last memoir, explores the complex relationships and interrelationships between blacks and whites in the South during Reconstruction. The volume is rounded out with eighteen speeches and letters from Brown's public career, most previously uncollected, dealing with abolition, party politics, black history, Reconstruction and civil rights, and temperance. Detailed explanatory notes identify Brown's many quotations and allusions throughout. -- from dust jacket
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contains biographical information
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index present
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A6 2014
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The Library of America
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Clotel & other writings, William Wells Brown ; Ezra Greenspan, editor
Clotel & other writings, William Wells Brown ; Ezra Greenspan, editor
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Includes bibliographical references and index
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Narrative of William W. Brown, a fugitive slave / written by himself -- Clotel, or, The President's daughter -- The American fugitive in Europe -- The escape, or, A leap for freedom -- The black man, his antecedents, his genius, and his achievements -- My Southern home -- Speeches & public letters
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21 cm.
viii, 1042 pages
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