Harriet Jacobs: A Life

Front Cover
Basic Civitas Books, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 394 pages
16 Reviews
In this remarkable biography, Jean Fagan Yellin recounts the full adventures of Harriet Jacobs, before and after slavery. Jacobs'sIncidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, one of the most widely read slave narratives of all time, recounts through the pseudonymous character named "Linda" the adventures of a young female slave who spent seven years in her grandmother's attic hiding from her sexually abusive and cruel master. Jean Yellin takes us inside that attic with Harriet Jacobs and then follows her on her escape to the North, where she found safe haven with Quaker abolitionists.Drawing upon decades of original research with never-before-seen archival sources, Yellin creates a complete picture of the events that inspired Incidents and offers the first rounded picture of Jacobs's life in the thirty-six years after the book's publication. Harrassed by her former owner, living under threat of recapture until the end of the Civil War, Jacobs survived poverty, ran a boarding house, and built a career as a political writer and speaker, struggling all the while to provide for her family. Jean Yellin brings to life the struggles and triumphs of this extraordinary woman whose life reflected all the major changes of the nineteenth century, from slavery to the Civil War to Reconstruction to the origins of the modern Civil Rights movement.

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Review: Harriet Jacobs: A Life

User Review  - Smithhemb - Goodreads

Great book! Impressive historical detective work, compelling interpretation, and a wide ranging and very interesting story. Read full review

Review: Harriet Jacobs: A Life

User Review  - Goodreads

Great book! Impressive historical detective work, compelling interpretation, and a wide ranging and very interesting story. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Jean Fagan Yellin is the author of Women and Sisters and The Intricate Knot. She divides her time between Goldens Bridge, New York, and Sarasota, Florida.

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