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The Trials of Phillis Wheatley - America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathers / Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Gates, Henry Louis Jr.

197 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0465027296 / ISBN 13: 9780465027293
Published by Basic Books, New York, 2003
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In 1773, the slave Phillis Wheatley literally wrote her way to freedom. The first person of African descent to publish a book of poems in English, she was emancipated by her owners in recognition of her literary achievement. For a time, Wheatley was the most famous black woman in the West. But Thomas Jefferson, unlike his contemporaries Ben Franklin and George Washington, refused to acknowledge her gifts as a writer-a repudiation that eventually inspired generations of black writers to build an extraordinary body of literature in their efforts to prove him wrong. In The Trials of Phillis Wheatley, Henry Louis Gates Jr. Explores the pivotal roles that Wheatley and Jefferson played in shaping the black literary tradition. Writing with all the lyricism and critical skill that place him at the forefront of American letters, Gates brings to life the characters, debates, and controversy that surrounded Wheatley in her day and ours. Fine cloth copy in an equally fine dw. Particularly and uncommonly well-preserved; tight, bright, clean and especially sharp-cornered. Literally as new; 129 pages; Women Slaves (United States) - Biography. Afican-American Poets - Biography. Poets (American) , Colonial Period ca. 1600-1775 - Biography 1 Kg. Bookseller Inventory # 25161

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Trials of Phillis Wheatley - America's ...

Publisher: Basic Books, New York

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

A moving celebration of the mother of African American literature, from the pen of a master storyteller and scholar. The slave Phillis Wheatley literally wrote her way to freedom when, in 1773, she became the first person of African descent to publish a book of poems in the English language. The toast of London, lauded by Europeans as diverse as Voltaire and Gibbon, Wheatley was for a time the most famous black woman in the West. Though Benjamin Franklin received her and George Washington thanked her for poems she dedicated to him, Thomas Jefferson refused to acknowledge her gifts. "Religion, indeed, has produced a Phillis Wheatley," he wrote, "but it could not produce a poet. " In other words, slaves have misery in their lives, and they have souls, but they lack the intellectual and aesthetic endowments required to create literature. In this book based on his 2002 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Library of Congress, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , explores the pivotal roles that Wheatley and Jefferson have played in shaping the black literary tradition. He brings to life the characters and debates that fermented around Wheatley in her day and illustrates the peculiar history that resulted in Thomas Jefferson's being lauded as a father of the black freedom struggle and Phillis Wheatley's vilification as something of an Uncle Tom. It is a story told with all the lyricism and critical skill that have placed Gates at the forefront of American letters.

Review:

"Deseret News"
"There's a wealth of history here... Gates has brought this absorbing information together in an accessible but comprehensive way."

"Deseret News"
There's a wealth of history here Gates has brought this absorbing information together in an accessible but comprehensive way. "

Deseret News
There's a wealth of history here Gates has brought this absorbing information together in an accessible but comprehensive way. "

Deseret News
"There's a wealth of history here... Gates has brought this absorbing information together in an accessible but comprehensive way."

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