Romanticism and Slave Narratives: Transatlantic Testimonies

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Helen Thomas' study opens a new avenue for Romanticism by exploring connections with literature produced by slaves, slave owners, abolitionists and radical dissenters between 1770 and 1830. In the first major attempt to relate canonical Romantic texts to writings of the African diaspora, she investigates English literary Romanticism in the context of a transatlantic culture, and African culture in the context of eighteenth-century Britain. In so doing, she reveals an intertextual dialogue between two diverse yet equally rich cultural spheres, and their corresponding systems of thought, epistemology and expression.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valauble resource for those interested in African diaspoa literature...Provides a provocative historical and theoretical paradigm for future readings of Romantic texts..." Wordsworth Circle

"A prodigious amount of reading and research in diverse and often original sources makes this book an important contribution to the burgeoning literature dealing with the slave trade and reactions to it in England and the US, above all by the slaves themselves. " Choice

"Romanticism and Slave Narratives addresses essential issues and raises important questions...The shores of the black Atlantic and the hillsides of the Lake District are closer together than we used to think." Journal of English and Germanic Philology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521662345
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Romanticism Series, #38
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The English slave trade and abolitionism; 2. Radical dissent and spiritual autobiography: Joanna Southcott, John Newton and William Cowper; 3. Romanticism and abolitionism: Mary Wollstonecraft, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth; 4. Cross-cultural contact: John Stedman, Thomas Jefferson and the slaves; 5. The diasporic identity: language and the paradigms of liberation; 6. The early slave narratives: Jupiter Hammon, John Marrant and Ottobah Gronniosaw; 7. Phyllis Wheatley: poems and letters; 8. Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative; 9. Robert Wedderburn and mulatto discourse.
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