Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Written by Himself / Edition 2

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I believe it is difficult for those who publish their own memoirs to escape the imputation of vanity; nor is this the only disadvantage under which they labour: it is also their misfortune, that what is uncommon is rarely, if ever, believed, and what is obvious we are apt to turn from with disgust, and to charge the writer with impertinence. People generally think those memoirs only worthy to be read or remembered which abound in great or striking events, those, in short, which in a high degree excite either admiration or pity: all others they consign to contempt and oblivion. It is therefore, I confess, not a little hazardous in a private and obscure individual, and a stranger too, thus to solicit the indulgent attention of the public; especially when I own I offer here the history of neither a saint, a hero, nor a tyrant. I believe there are few events in my life, which have not happened to many: it is true the incidents of it are numerous; and, did I consider myself an European, I might say my sufferings were great: but when I compare my lot with that of most of my countrymen, I regard myself as a particular favourite of Heaven, and acknowledge the mercies of Providence in every occurrence of my life. If then the following narrative does not appear sufficiently interesting to engage general attention, let my motive be some excuse for its publication. Text from Chapter 1
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312442033
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 4/7/2006
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 202,411
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT J. ALLISON (Ph.D., Harvard University) is associate professor of history and chair of the department at Suffolk University, where he teaches U.S. and world history and the history of Boston. He is the author of A Short History of Boston (2004) and The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World 1776-1815 (2000). He has edited two volumes of twentieth-century American political and social history: History In Dispute: The Pursuit of Progress, 1900-1945 and The Pursuit of Liberty, 1945-2000 (2000). He has also edited several volumes in the award-winning American Eras series, including The Revolutionary Era, 1754-1783 (1998) and The Development of a Nation, 1783-1815 (1997). Allison is an elected life member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He is currently working on a biography of the American naval hero Stephen Decatur.

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Table of Contents




Introduction: Equiano’s Worlds

Olaudah Equiano and the Eighteenth-Century World

Equiano and the Antislavery Movement

African Identities in the New World

Equiano’s Narrative as an Abolitionist Tool

The Question of Equiano’s Origins

The Literary Context of Equiano’s Narrative

Equiano’s Legacy


The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself


Volume I

Volume II


Related Documents

Olaudah Equiano, Letter to James Tobin, January 28, 1788

Olaudah Equiano, Letter to the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, February 7, 1789

Olaudah Equiano, Letter to Thomas Hardy, May 28, 1792

William Blake, Illustrations for Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition . . . by John G. Stedman, 1796


An Equiano Chronology

Questions for Consideration

Selected Bibliography


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