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Read e-book online An African's Life: The Life and Times of Olaudah Equiano, PDF

By James Walvin

ISBN-10: 0304702145

ISBN-13: 9780304702145

The autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, a favourite African in past due 18th-century Britain, is quoted, anthologized and interpreted in dozens of books and articles. greater than any unmarried modern, Equiano speaks for the destiny of hundreds of thousands of Africans within the period of the transatlantic slave alternate. This learn makes an attempt to create a rounded portrait of the fellow at the back of the literary photograph, and to review Equiano within the context of Atlantic slavery.

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Example text

Slaves disliked the beans, sometimes throwing such food at each other in anger. Weather permitting, they were fed twice a day but their food came from a communal bowl serving groups often slaves. Individual spoons were soon lost in the confusion of the slave decks and the Africans fed themselves by hand, all amidst the stable-like squalor of their confinement. Not surprisingly, the slaves soon succumbed to stomach ailments. The sick and the weak, unable to feed themselves properly, slipped further and further into a gloomy indifference (often despite force-feeding by the crew).

21 After much confusion, the French line broke, the British taking a number of prizes and the rest of the French fleet fleeing as best they could. The French flagship, the Ocean, blew up ('the midnight seemed turned into day by the blaze, which was attended with a noise louder and more terrible than thunder'). Equiano's own vessel, the Namur, was so badly damaged that the Admiral had to transfer to another ship. In addition to the dead and wounded crew, the ship 'was almost torn to pieces', and carpenters from other ships were drafted in to make her seaworthy, able to sail with the prizes to England.

Pondering desperately which would be the least dangerous moment to dash for fresh powder, Equiano realized that such choices were pointless. 21 After much confusion, the French line broke, the British taking a number of prizes and the rest of the French fleet fleeing as best they could. The French flagship, the Ocean, blew up ('the midnight seemed turned into day by the blaze, which was attended with a noise louder and more terrible than thunder'). Equiano's own vessel, the Namur, was so badly damaged that the Admiral had to transfer to another ship.

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An African's Life: The Life and Times of Olaudah Equiano, 1745-1797 by James Walvin


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