Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself - With Related Documents / Edition 1

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Much of what is known about the experience of slavery comes from first-person accounts written by formerly enslaved men. In this volume, Jennifer Fleischner examines the first- and best-known female account of life under, and escape from, slavery — Harriet Jacobs’ autobiography. In her introduction, Fleischner shows how Jacobs used the written word to liberate herself and promote the end of slavery by carefully discussing her sexual exploitation as a slave in ways that would inspire sympathy in — and not offend — her Victorian white, middle-class, female audience. The rich collection of related documents that accompany Jacobs’ complete narrative — including a selection of Jacobs’ letters and her brother’s account of some of the same incidents Jacobs describes — illuminate Jacobs’ life, her thoughts about writing, and her relationships with white women abolitionists. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, and a chart of the pseudonyms Jacobs used for her real-life characters further enrich this important contribution to the history of slavery in America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312442668
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 7/27/2009
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 405,960
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Fleischner (Ph.D., Columbia) is a professor of English at Adelphi University. She is the author of Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave (2004) and Mastering Slavery: Memory, Family, and Identity in Women's Slave Narratives (1996), as well as the historical novel Nobody’s Boy (2006). With Susan Weisser she is also the co-editor of Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds: Feminism and the Problem of Sisterhood (1994).

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Table of Contents

PART ONE. INTRODUCTION: A New Voice for Freedom
  Jacobs’s Early Life
  What Really Happened?
  Other Dominant Themes
  The Power of the Pen
  Pseudonyms of Key Figures in Incidents in the Life of a
   Slave Girl, Written by Herself
PART TWO: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written
 by Herself. Edited by L. Maria Child
1. American Beacon, Advertisement for the Capture of Harriet
   Jacobs, July 4, 1835
2. Lydia Maria Child, Charity Bowery, 1844
3. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, 1852?
4. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, April 4, 1853
5. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, March 1854
6. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, June 21, 1857
7. Lydia Maria Child, Letter to Harriet Jacobs, August 13, 1860
8. Weekly Anglo-African, Review of Incidents in the Life of a
   Slave Girl, April 13, 1861
9. John S. Jacobs, A True Tale of Slavery, 1861
10. Harriet Jacobs, Life Among the Contrabands, 1862
11. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Ednah Dow Cheney, April 25, 1867
  A Harriet Jacobs Chronology (1813-1897)
  Questions for Consideration  
  Selected Bibliography 

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