Bristol in 1787 is booming, a city where power beckons those who dare to take risks. Josiah Cole, a small dockside trader, is prepared to gamble everything to join the big players of the city. But he needs capital and a well-connected wife.
Marriage to Frances Scott is a mutually convenient solution. Trading her social contacts for Josiah's protection, Frances finds her life and fortune dependent on the respectable trade of sugar, rum, and slaves.
Into her new world comes Mehuru, once a priest in the ancient African kingdom of Yoruba, now a slave in England. From opposite ends of the earth, despite the difference in status, Mehuru and Frances confront each other and their need for love and liberty.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Set in England in 1787, Philippa Gregory's dazzling historical novel tells of the forbidden romance between a British aristocrat and an enslaved African nobleman.From the Back Cover:
It was to be a respectable marriage to a man engaged in a respectable business. Certainly 34-year-old Frances Scott, forced into genteel poverty despite an aristocratic heritage, has little choice but to wed the lower class Bristol shipping merchant.
Trading her social connections for his protection in the brutally male-dominated world of eighteenth-century England, Frances discovers that her husband's "respectable" trade-- dealing in African slaves-- will propel her into a passionate fight for romance, life and the freedom of the slave she comes to love deeply.
A saga of desire and shame, of dramatic confrontations between convention and truth, "A Respectable Trade" is a disturbing and yet truly satisfying novel from "the first lady of intelligent historical fiction."
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