Mary Prince's narrative was one of the earliest to reveal the ugly truths about slavery in the West Indies to an English reading public that was largely unaware of its atrocities. Prince was born in Bermuda to an enslaved family. She spent her early life in harsh conditions and was ev... entually sold to John Adams Wood of Antigua, working as his domestic servant. She joined the Moravian Church, where she learned to read, and married Daniel James, a former slave who had bought his freedom. In 1828 she traveled to England with the Woods family and after protracted efforts by abolitionists was able to leave their control. Encouraged by her new employer, Thomas Pringle, who also served as her editor, Prince wrote and published her book in 1831 to wide acclaim.
While eighteenth-century slave narratives largely focused on Christian spiritual journeys and religious redemption, Prince was part of a growing trend of abolitionist writers focused on the injustice of slavery. Her work stands alongside better-known narratives such as A Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Adding to its importance, few early women's slave narratives exist.
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