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Cover

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Harriet Jacobs
Edited by R. J. Ellis

November 2015

ISBN: 9780198709879

304 pages
Paperback
196x129mm

In Stock

Oxford World's Classics

Price: £8.99

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'.

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Description

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'.

  • An extraordinary account of her life as a slave, Harriet Jacobs's Incidents describes the horrors of slavery in the American South and her struggle for freedom
  • Incidents is the first slave narrative to highlight the sexual abuse of female slaves
  • Includes the brief memoir by Harriet Jacobs's brother, John S. Jacobs, 'A True Tale of Slavery', and Jacobs's first published writing, two letters written to the New York Tribune
  • The introduction explores Jacobs's use of conventional slave-narrative descriptions and literary styles to reinforce her abolitionist message, and complicate the narrative's status as simple autobiography
  • Full notes provide historical context and identify Jacobs's extensive use of biblical quotation

About the Author(s)

Harriet Jacobs

Edited by R. J. Ellis, University of Birmingham

R. J. Ellis's publications include Harriet Wilson's 'Our Nig': A Cultural Biography (2003), a co-edited collection of essays, Becoming Visible: Women's Presence in Ninetenth-Century America (2010) and editions of Our Nig (2011, with Henry Louis Gates), and Charles Chesnutt's The Colonel's Dream (2015). He was President of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers from 2012 to 2015.

Reviews

"Few accounts of American slavery are as memorable as Jacobs' harrowing memoir. Born a slave in North Carolina in 1813, Harriet was in her teens when her owner, Dr James Norcom, first started to proposition her. Harriet was forced to take refuge in her grandmother's tiny attic for nearly seven years, before finally escaping to the North. R J Ellis's introduction to this latest edition is an insightful overview of the slave narrative for a new generation of readers." - Lesley McDowell, Independent (Radar)

"Jacob's story is so dramatic, so illustrative of the horrors of slavery - the sickening violence, the waste of potential, the unpredictability of lives lived according to slave owner's caprices - that is almost reads as a novel" - Victoria Segal, The Guardian

"It's easy to be appalled at the notion of slavery, but this astonishing account, published in 1861, by Harriet Jacobs, born a slave in the American South, emphasises the personal experience. She makes us feel the minutiae of daily life as a slave." - Lesly McDowell, The Sunday Herald

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