Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846 : Living an Antislavery Life-9781474444262

Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846 : Living an Antislavery Life

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The first full-length study of Frederick Douglass' visit to Scotland in 1846

Frederick Douglass (1818-95) was not the only fugitive from American slavery to visit Scotland before the Civil War, but he was the best known and his impact was far-reaching. This book shows that addressing crowded halls from Ayr to Aberdeen, he gained the confidence, mastered the skills and fashioned the distinctive voice that transformed him as a campaigner. It tells how Douglass challenged the Free Church over its ties with the Southern plantocracy; how he exploited his knowledge of Walter Scott and Robert Burns to brilliant effect; and how he asserted control over his own image at a time when racial science and blackface minstrel shows were beginning to shape his audiences' perceptions.

He arrived as a subordinate envoy of white abolitionists, legally still enslaved. He returned home as a free man ready to embark on a new stage of his career, as editor and proprietor of his own newspaper and a leader in his own right.

Key Features:

  • First full-length study of Frederick Douglass' visit to Scotland in 1846
  • Reveals fresh information about, and deepens our understanding of, a major 19th-century intellectual at a crucial stage in his political and professional development
  • Subjects Douglass' speeches and letters to close readings and situates them in the immediate context of their delivery and composition
  • Demonstrates the extent to which Douglass was closely acquainted with Scottish literature, history and current affairs
  • Enhances our knowledge of Douglass as a performer, his ability to read audiences, and how he moved and influenced them

Alasdair Pettinger
Published 18/08/2020 in United Kingdom
Paperback | 376 pages, 31 B/W illustrations