Author by Harriet A. Jacobs
Genre : Fiction
Editor : BoD – Books on Demand
ISBN : 9783375041250
Type Books : PDF & Epub
File Pages : 310
Reprint of the original, first published in 1861.
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Reprint of the original, first published in 1861.
Reader be assured this narrative is no fiction. I am aware that some of my adventures may seem incredible; but they are, nevertheless, strictly true. I have not exaggerated the wrongs inflicted by Slavery; on the contrary, my descriptions fall far short of the facts. I have concealed the names of places, and given persons fictitious names. I had no motive for secrecy on my own account, but I deemed it kind and considerate towards others to pursue this course. I wish I were more competent to the task I have undertaken. But I trust my readers will excuse deficiencies in consideration of circumstances. I was born and reared in Slavery; and I remained in a Slave State twenty-seven years. Since I have been at the North, it has been necessary for me to work diligently for my own support, and the education of my children. This has not left me much leisure to make up for the loss of early opportunities to improve myself; and it has compelled me to write these pages at irregular intervals, whenever I could snatch an hour from household duties.
This is a far-ranging study which contextualises both the historical figure of Harriet Jacobs and her autobiography as a created work of art.
Harriet Jacobs' narrative of a life as a slave girl is unabridged, and contains an additional annotation at the start of the book. This section aims to give the reader an historical context, and contains a brief History of Slavery in America, and the Abolishment of Slavery. This will help set the stage for Harriet Ann Jacobs autobiography that is to follow: "I am aware that some of my adventures may seem incredible; but they are, nevertheless, strictly true. I have not exaggerated the wrongs inflicted by Slavery; on the contrary, my descriptions fall far short of the facts. I have concealed the names of places, and given persons fictitious names. I had no motive for secrecy on my own account, but I deemed it kind and considerate towards others to pursue this course. When I first arrived in Philadelphia, Bishop Paine advised me to publish a sketch of my life, but I told him I was altogether incompetent to such an undertaking. Though I have improved my mind somewhat since that time, I still remain of the same opinion; but I trust my motives will excuse what might otherwise seem presumptuous. I have not written my experiences in order to attract attention to myself; on the contrary, it would have been more pleasant to me to have been silent about my own history. I want to add my testimony to that of abler pens to convince the people of the Free States what Slavery really is. Only by experience can any one realize how deep, and dark, and foul is that pit of abominations. May the blessing of God rest on this imperfect effort in behalf of my persecuted people!" --Linda Brent (Pseudonym used by Harriet Ann Jacobs)
“One of the major autobiographies of the African-American tradition.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “It has been painful to me, in many ways, to recall the dreary years I passed in bondage. I would gladly forget them if I could. Yet the retrospection is not altogether without solace; for with these gloomy recollections come tender memories of my good old grandmother, like light fleecy clouds floating over a dark and troubled sea.” One of the most memorable slave narratives, Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl illustrates the overarching evil and pervasive depravity of the institution of slavery. In great and painful detail, Jacobs describes her life as a Southern slave, the exploitation that haunted her daily life, her abuse by her master, the involvement she sought with another white man in order to escape her master, and her determination to win freedom for herself and her children. From her seven years of hiding in a garret that was three feet high, to her harrowing escape north to a reunion with her children and freedom, Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains an outstanding example of one woman’s extraordinary courage in the face of almost unbeatable odds, as well as one of the most significant testimonials in American history.
Although millions of African American women were held in bondage over the 250 years that slavery was legal in the United States, Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) is the only one known to have left papers testifying to her life. Her autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, holds a central place in the canon of American literature as the most important slave narrative by an African American woman. Born in Edenton, North Carolina, Jacobs escaped from her owner in her mid-twenties and hid in the cramped attic crawlspace of her grandmother's house for seven years before making her way north as a fugitive slave. In Rochester, New York, she became an active abolitionist, working with all of the major abolitionists, feminists, and literary figures of her day, including Frederick Douglass, Lydia Maria Child, Amy Post, William Lloyd Garrison, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, William C. Nell, Charlotte Forten Grimke, and Nathan Parker Willis. Jean Fagan Yellin has devoted much of her professional life to illuminating the remarkable life of Harriet Jacobs. Over three decades of painstaking research, Yellin has discovered more than 900 primary source documents, approximately 300 of which are now collected in two volumes. These letters and papers written by, for, and about Jacobs and her activist brother and daughter provide for the thousands of readers of Incidents--from scholars to schoolchildren--access to the rich historical context of Jacobs's struggles against slavery, racism, and sexism beyond what she reveals in her pseudonymous narrative. Accompanied by a CD containing a searchable PDF file of the entire contents, this collection is a crucial launching point for future scholarship on Jacobs's life and times.
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Harriet Jacobs's slave narrative is remarkable for its candid exposure of the sexual abuse suffered by slaves at the hands of their owners. Her sufferings, and eventual escape to the North, are described in vivid detail. This edition also includes her brother's short memoir, 'A True Tale of Slavery'.
For the first time--the complete story of the life and times of the most important black woman writer of the 19th century.