Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself (Penguin Classics)

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9780140437959: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself (Penguin Classics)

One of the central firsthand accounts of slavery in America

A haunting, evocative recounting of her life as a slave in North Carolina and of her final escape and emancipation, Harriet Jacobs's classic narrative, written between 1853 and 1858 and published pseduonymously in 1861, tells firsthand of the horrors inflicted on slaves. In writing this extraordinary memoir, which culminates in the seven years she spent hiding in a crawl space in her grandmother's attic, Jacobs skillfully used the literary genres of her time, presenting a thoroughly feminist narrative that portrays the evils and traumas of slavery, particularly for women and children.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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From the Back Cover:

These two slave narratives expand our knowledge of the differing ways males and females coped with enslavement and later ordeals in flight. This popularly-priced anthology contains the often taught Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and the recently discovered A True Tale of Slavery by John S. Jacobs, her younger brother, now reprinted for the first time.


After Harriet’s owner, a physician, repeatedly abused her, she escaped his sexual advances for a time by entering into a relationship with a local attorney. Her owner continued to harass her, and she sought refuge in a crawlspace where she lived in hiding. After her escape to the North, she published her narrative.


John S. Jacobs “walked away” as he put it, from his owner, a congressman. He sailed on a whaling ship and educated himself. He then became a paid agent of the Anti-Slavery Society, made a lecturing trip with Frederick Douglass, and finally settled in London, where he remained until it was safe for a fugitive to return to the North. He wrote his story for a London Sunday school journal where it was published in 1861.

From the Inside Flap:

This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition combines the two most important African American slave narratives into one volume.
Frederick Douglass's Narrative, first published in 1845, is an enlightening and incendiary text. Born into slavery, Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it. Like Douglass, Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery, and in 1861 she published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, now recognized as the most comprehensive antebellum slave narrative written by a woman. Jacobs's account broke the silence on the exploitation of African American female slaves, and it remains crucial reading. These narratives illuminate and inform each other. This edition includes an incisive Introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah and extensive annotations.

"From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A haunting, evocative recounting of her life as a slave in North Carolina, and her final escape and emancipation, Jacobs narrative, written between 1853 and 1858 and published in 1861, is one of the most important books ever written documenting the traumas and horrors of slavery in the antebellum South. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140437959

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A haunting, evocative recounting of her life as a slave in North Carolina, and her final escape and emancipation, Jacobs narrative, written between 1853 and 1858 and published in 1861, is one of the most important books ever written documenting the traumas and horrors of slavery in the antebellum South. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140437959

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Book Description Penguin Books 7/1/2000, 2000. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780140437959

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A haunting, evocative recounting of her life as a slave in North Carolina, and her final escape and emancipation, Jacobs narrative, written between 1853 and 1858 and published in 1861, is one of the most important books ever written documenting the traumas and horrors of slavery in the antebellum South. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780140437959

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Book Condition: New. 2000. Trade Paperback Edition. Paperback. Recounts the author's life as a slave in North Carolina, and her final escape and emancipation. This title documents the traumas and horrors of slavery in the antebellum South. Editor(s): Painter, Nell Irvin. Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: BG; DSB; JFSL3. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 215 x 129 x 13. Weight in Grams: 224. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780140437959

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