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In the summer of 1716, a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and fifty-two of his comrades were captured at sea by the Barbary corsairs. Their captors - fanatical Islamic slave traders - had declared war on the whole of Christendom. Thousands of Europeans had been snatched from their homes and taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Salé in Morocco to be sold to the highest bidder.
WHITE GOLD is an extraordinary and shocking story. Drawn from unpublished letters and manuscripts written by slaves, and by the padres and ambassadors sent to free them, it reveals a disturbing and forgotten chapter of history, told with all the pace and verve of one of our finest historians.
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Writer and journalist Giles Milton specializes in the history of travel and exploration. His latest literary adventure, White Gold, is the story of Thomas Pellow, a Cornish cabin boy who was captured at sea by a group of fanatical Islamic slave traders—the Barbary corsairs, taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Salè in Morocco and sold to the highest bidder. Pellow’s purchaser happened to be the tyrannical sultan of Morroco, Moulay Ismail, a man committed to building a vast imperial pleasure palace of unsurpassable splendour built entirely by Christian slave labour. After enduring long periods of torture Pellow converted to Islam and became the personal slave of the sultan for over two decades—including a stint as a soldier in the sultan’s army—before finally making a dramatic escape and return to Cornwall. The account is supported by the unpublished letters and manuscripts of slaves and the various ambassadors sent to free them. This is an excellently written account of the history of the white slave trade. Pellow’s story is an extraordinary one but the real interest lies in the picture Milton builds of life in the slave pens and especially of daily life at the court of the spectacularly barbaric Moulay Ismail. --Larry BrownReview:
'Milton's story could scarcely be more action packed ... If what you want from your history is violent action, exotic locations, a colourful villain and a resourceful hero, you'll find them in this book' Sunday Times
Milton has created a truly gripping tale...His research is impeccable and his narrative reads in part like a modern-day Robert Louis Stevenson novel. (The Sunday Times)
A magnificent piece of popular history (Independent on Sunday)
Acclaim for NATHANIEL'S NUTMEG: 'The thoroughness and intelligence of his research underpins the lively confidence with which he deploys it' (Times Literary Supplement)
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Book Description Hodder Audio, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1840329602