Welcome to this week’s Friday feature – a First Lines Friday post! I suspect you are going to guess the book that made it to today’s feature.
I set myself a challenge with this post last Sunday. As I wanted to do a topical theme, I decided to feature one of the books that made it to my Summer TBR list. I shared that post on Tuesday. If you want to go and take a look at that before we get into today’s introduction, you can find a link above.
You may well be able to guess today’s book based on the introduction, as it gives the answer away. The book in question is a well-known one, so I would be surprised if anyone hasn’t heard of it before.
Having been born a freeman, and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free State – and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into Slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of twelve years – it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public.
Since my return to liberty, I have not failed to perceive the increasing interest throughout the Northern States, in regard to the subject of Slavery. Works of fiction, professing to portray its features in their more pleasing, as well as more repugnant aspects, have been circulated to an extent unprecedented, and, as I understand, have created a fruitful topic of comment and discussion.
Twelve Years A Slave – Solomon Northup
Publication Date: 05 Feb 1853
Twelve Years a Slave, sub-title: Narrative of Solomon Northup, citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana, is a memoir by Solomon Northup as told to and edited by David Wilson. It is a slave narrative of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped in Washington, D.C., sold into slavery, and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, as well as describing at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.
I’ve wanted to pick up Twelve Years A Slave for a number of years, and I am finally making it a priority.
It is one of the oldest books on my reading list in terms of original publication date. As you probably gathered by the introduction, this reflects a lot in the language used in the narrative. It doesn’t necessarily flow in the same way you or I are used to. However, I find that really interesting.
It’s rare to find a memoir of such a harrowing personal experience, so this book has plenty to offer. This part of American history is often glossed over. I’m a firm believer that we need to acknowledge and remember these unpleasant parts of history. That way, we make sure they do not happen again.
Twelve Years A Slave is a classic novel that I intend to pick up very soon, and I’m optimistic that I will enjoy it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post!
Have you read Twelve Years A Slave?