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Novel BondageSlavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America$
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Tess Chakkalakal

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036330

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036330.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 June 2018



Reading Hannah Crafts in the Twenty-First Century

(p.107) Conclusion
Novel Bondage

Tess Chakkalakal

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter turns to a new, yet old, slave fiction: Hannah Crafts' The Bondwoman's Narrative(2002). According to its editor, the novel was written by a female fugitive slave in the 1850s, though it was never published during the author's lifetime. The book's gripping, visceral depictions of slave life and an escape to the North are familiar to readers of the slave narratives. From here, the chapter returns to the tension between history and fiction that was raised in the introduction. By doing so, the chapter considers Crafts' novel not as historical fact but as a slave fiction, a form that presents experience through the eyes of a slave. This perspective, fictional though it may be, offers readers today insights into the past that was not, for various reasons, contained by historical accounts of slavery.

Keywords:   Hannah Crafts, The Bondwoman's Narrative, slave fiction, slavery, historical accounts of slavery, slave narratives, slave life

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