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The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave: Containing His History of 25 Years in Bondage, and His Providential Escape

The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave: Containing His History of 25 Years in Bondage, and His Providential Escape

Current price: $14.00
Publication Date: June 28th, 2011
Publisher:
Penguin Classics
ISBN:
9780143106425
Pages:
144
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Description

The unique narrative of a slave who fled to freedom and sailed aboard a whaling vessel

John Thompson was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation in 1812. Originally published in 1856, The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave chronicles his enslavement, his escape, and his life in the North, where he lived as a free man until fear of recapture drove him to flee once again-this time to sea aboard the Milwood, a whaling vessel. The only fugitive slave narrator to report a whaling voyage, Thompson crafted from his seafaring experience an allegorical sermon that caps his Life and renders it a kind of African American Pilgrim's Progress, as well as a narrative of struggle with, escape from, and triumph over American slavery.

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.

About the Author

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Africana Studies at Cornell University, and also tenured at Yale, Duke, and Harvard, where he was appointed W.E.B. DuBois professor of humanities in 1991. Professor Gates is the author of Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self, Wonders of the African World, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, Loose Cannons: Notes on the Culture Wars, and Colored People: A Memoir. With Cornel West, he co-wrote The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country and The Future of the Race. He is also the editor of the critically-acclaimed edition of Our Nig, an annotated reprint of Harriet E. Wilson’s 1859 novel, The Slave’s Narrative (with the late Charles T. Davis), Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Six Women’s Slave Narratives, and In the House of Oshugbo: Critical Essays on Wole Soyinka. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize.