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Clotel, Or, the President's Daughter (1853) - William Wells Brown

Related: African American - slave - 1800s literature - 1853 - mullato - American literature


  • Clotel, Or, the President's Daughter (1853) - William Wells Brown [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The first novel published by an African American, Clotel takes up the story, in circulation at the time, that Thomas Jefferson fathered an illegitimate mulatto daughter who was sold into slavery. Powerfully reimagining this story, and weaving together a variety of contemporary source materials, Brown fills the novel with daring escapes and encounters, as well as searing depictions of the American slave trade. An innovative and challenging work of literary invention, Clotel is receiving much renewed attention today.
    William Wells Brown, though born into slavery, escaped to become one of the most prominent reformers of the nineteenth century and one of the earliest historians of the black experience. This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition reproduces the first, 1853, edition of Clotel and includes, as did that edition, his autobiographical narrative, "The Life and Escape of William Wells Brown," plus newly written notes.

    Brown, William Wells, 1814-1884, was a prominent abolitionist lecturer, novelist, playwright, and historian. Born into slavery in the Southern United States, Brown escaped to the North, where where he worked for abolitionist causes and was a prolific writer. Brown was a pioneer in several different literary genres, including travel writing, fiction, and drama, and wrote what is considered to be the first novel by an African American. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wells_Brown [Jun 2005]

    see also: mulatto

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