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Master Slave Husband Wife

Ilyon Woo



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Bonnier Books Ltd
05 September 2023
"The remarkable true story of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery through daring, determination, and disguise, with Ellen passing as a wealthy, disabledWhite man and William posing as ""his"" slave.

In 1848, a year of international democratic revolt, a young, enslaved couple, Ellen and William Craft, achieved one of the boldest feats of self-emancipation in history. Posing as master and slave, while sustained by their love as husband and wife, they made their escape together across more than 1,000 miles, riding steamboats, carriages, and trains that took them from bondage in Georgia to the free states of the North.

Along the way, they dodged slave traders, military officers, and even friends of their enslavers, who might have revealed their true identities. The tale of their adventure soon made them celebrities, and generated headlines around the country. Audiences could not get enough of this charismatic young couple, who travelled the country drawing thunderous applause as they spoke alongside some of the greatest abolitionists of the day.

But even then, they were not out of danger. With the passage of an infamous new Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, all Americans became accountable for returning refugees like the Crafts to slavery. Then yet another adventure began, as the Crafts fled to England to embark upon a new life.

With three epic journeys compressed into one monumental bid for freedom, Master Slave Husband Wife recounts both a ground-breaking quest for liberty and justice, and an unforgettable love story."
Imprint:   Bonnier Books Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   516g
ISBN:   9781804183632
ISBN 10:   1804183636
Pages:   416
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ilyon Woo is the author of The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times and the recipient of a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Writing Grant. Her articles have appeared in venues such as The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal, and she has received support for her research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other organisations. She holds a BA in the Humanities from Yale College and a PhD in English from Columbia University.

Reviews for Master Slave Husband Wife

'Ellen and William Craft loved each other, but also loved freedom, and knew one was impossible without the other ... we readers gasp in amazement and wonder at the tragedy and triumph.' - Marlon James, winner of The Booker Prize 'Phenomenal' - Honore Fanonne Jeffers, author of The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois 'A suspenseful, sensitively rendered account . . . Woo tells the story [with] a cinematic eye.' - W. Caleb McDaniel, The New York Times Book Review 'Superbly researched and masterfully written.' - Library Journal

  • Long-listed for Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction 2024 (UK)
  • Short-listed for Kirkus Prize 2023 (UK)

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