Amazing Grace: An Anthology of Poems About Slavery, 1660-1810

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9780300091724: Amazing Grace: An Anthology of Poems About Slavery, 1660-1810
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An anthology of poetic writings on slavery from America, Britain, and around the Atlantic during the Enlightenment - the crucial period that saw the height of the slave trade but also the origins of the anti-slavery movement. Bringing together more than 400 poems and excerpts from longer works that were written by more than 250 poets, both famous and unknown, the volume charts the emergence of slavery as part of the collective consciousness of the English-speaking world. The text includes poems by 40 women, ranging from abolitionists Hannah More to Frances Seymour, Countess of Hertford; works by more than 20 African or African-American poets, including familiar names, interesting figures, and newly recovered black poets; and poetry by such canonical writers as Dryden, Defoe, Pope, Johnson, Blake, Boswell, Burns, Wordsworth and Coleridge. The poems speak eloquently of the themes of slavery - capture, torture, endurance, rebellion, thwarted romances and spiritual longing. They also raise questions about the contradictions between cultural attitudes and public policy of the time. Writers such as these, suggests editor James Basker, were not complicit in the imperial project or indifferent about slavery but actually laid the groundwork for the political changes that would follow.

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Review:

"Amazing Grace adds incomparably rich sources to our understanding of the cultural changes in the Anglo-American world that made anti-slavery movements both possible and eventually effective." -- David Brion Davis

"The most definitive collection of anti-slavery sentiment in verse yet compiled, essential reading for historians and literary critics alike. -- Henry Louis Gates

About the Author:

James G. Basker is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English, Barnard College, Columbia University, and president, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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9780300107579: Amazing Grace: An Anthology of Poems About Slavery,1660-1810

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ISBN 10:  0300107579 ISBN 13:  9780300107579
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2005
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