by James Walvin - £12.99 Vintage (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780712667630 | ISBN 10: 0712667636
There has been nothing like Atlantic slavery. Its scope and the ways in which it has shaped the modern world are so far-reaching as to make it ungraspable. By examining the lives of three individuals caught up in the enterprise of human enslavement - a trader, an owner and a slave - James Walvin offers a new and an original interpretation of the barbaric world of slavery and of its historic end in April 1807.
John Newton (1725-1807), best known as the author of Amazing Grace, was a slave captain who marshalled his human cargoes with a brutality that he looked back on with shame and contrition. Thomas Thistlewood (1721-86) lived his life in a remote corner of western Jamaica and his unique diary provides some of the most revealing images of a slave owner's life in the most valuable of all British slave colonies. Olaudah Equiano (1745-97) was practically unknown thirty years ago, but is now an iconic figure in black history and his experience as a slave speaks out for lives of millions who went unrecorded.
All three men were contemporaries; they even came close to each other at different points of the Atlantic compass.
But what held them together, in its destructive gravitational pull, was the Atlantic slave system.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)