Olaudah Equiano's Narrative recounts his kidnapping in Africa at the age of eleven, his service as the slave of and officer in the British Navy, and his years of labor on slave ships until he was able to purchase his freedom in 1766. As a free man on a Central American plantation, he supervised slaves; increasingly distinguished by his co-workers, he returned to England in 1777. In England he worked for the resettlement of blacks in Sierra Leone, married an Englishwoman, and became a leading and respected figure in the anti-slaverly movement. A facinating autobiography, a tale of spiritual quest and fulfillment, a sophisticated treatise on religion, politics, and economics, The Interesting Narrative is a work of enduring literary and historical value.
Completely revised and edited with an introduction and notes by Vincent Carretta
An exciting and often terrifying adventure story, as well as an important precursor to such famous nineteenth-century slave narratives as Frederick Douglass's autobiographies, Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative recounts his kidnapping in Africa at the age of ten, his service as the slave of an officer in the British Navy, his ten years of labor on slave ships until he was able to purchase his freedom in 1766, and his life afterward as a leading and respected figure in the antislavery movement in England. A spirited autobiography, a tale of spiritual quest and fulfillment, and a sophisticated treatise on religion, politics, and economics, The Interesting Narrative is a work of enduring literary and historical value.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797) was a former slave who became an outspoken opponent of the slave trade.
Vincent Carretta is professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the editor of the Penguin Classics editions of the Complete Writings of Phillis Wheatley, Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African, and Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of SLavery and Other Writings by Ottobah Cugoano.