Beatrice Chancy

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Polestar Book Publishers, 1999 - Drama - 157 pages
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In 1550 in Rome, a privileged young woman killed her debauched father, who had forced her into an incestuous relationship. The woman's name was Beatrice Cenci and for centuries her story inspired writers, among them Percy Bysse Shelley, Alexandre Dumas, Robert Browning and Kathy Acker.

Beatrice chancy is set in Nova Scotia during the days of slavery in Canada. Beatrice is the daughter of a slave woman who was raped by her white master, Frances Chancy. Raised in the master's household, Beatrice is beautiful, clever, cultured -- her father's prize. Beatrice's declaration of love for a slave sparks emotions that culminate in a monstrous act: the rape of Beatrice by her father. Violence begets violence until Chancy is killed and Beatrice hanged for his death.

The passion and sorrow of Beatrice's story are matched only by the brilliance of the language -- words burnished with fire, steeled with wit and made pliable with complex humanity. In the author's words: "Beatrice Chancy is about living and suffering in the world, and how we yearn to end the suffering. It's about human pain -- a general blues -- and so it is written in poetry."

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Beatrice Chancy

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This verse play by the award-winning black Nova Scotian poet George Elliott Clarke presents a poignant picture of slavery in colonial Canada. Set in 1801 at a Nova Scotia plantation owned by Francis ... Read full review

References to this book

Transatlantic Scots
Celeste Ray
No preview available - 2005

About the author (1999)

George Elliott Clarke teaches world literature in English at the University of Toronto. Beatrice Chancy was nominated for the Dartmouth Book Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize.

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