Twelve Years a Slave

twelveyearsTwelve Years a Slave, by Simon Northrup (public domain)




I read this book several years ago (before the movie came out).  Riveting (I still have not seen the movie).   Although I have a paperback copy, the book is in the public domain.  You can pay money for it or you can download it (several formats, including Kindle) from Project Gutenberg (which is where the link in the title to this post points).

Amazon: The most credible and telling contemporaneous portrait of American slavery. In 1841, Solomon Northup was betrayed, kidnapped, and sold as a slave in the pre-Civil War South. This is the true, shocking story of the twelve years Northup spent in slavery. A testimony to the strength of one man’s spirit and his remarkable will to survive.

Another book written by a former slave and as riveting as Twelve Years, is

incidentsIncidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs (public domain)

This is also available from Gutenberg, or from Amazon, which has this to say about the book:


This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Jacobs speaks frankly of her master’s abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith.


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