It is historical novel about he slave trade in England, and set in 17th century Bristol.
Furthermore, an incredibly cruel bridle which comes into the ovel, was pparently in common use in the West Indian sugar plantations.It is clear that Philippa Gregory has done her best to read a powerful ovel about the devastating onsequences of the slave trade in 18th century Bristol; one which will prick the consciences of many readers.
Part of boo details how William Wilberforce, the English politician and philanthropist, made an ttempt at that time, to deliver a Bill to amen the slave trade to Parliament, and how it was defeated by filibustering.The institution of slavery is thus at the heart of tal, and all the haracters in anothe trilog are involved in the trade, or profiting from it- either directly or indirectly.
She finds an adver for th new position advertised by Josiah Cole, a merchant involved in the slave trade.
Frances has always known about slavery but only in a distant way, " She wa no sense of Africa before the coming of the British, of a huge continent populated by a complex of different eoples and kingdoms, of trading and barter stations, of caravans of goods which crossed from one nation to another; of men and women, some living like peasants working the land, some living in towns and cities and working in ndustries, some established in hereditary kingdoms seated on thrones of gold and ivory and living like gods.
She ad no interest in the slaves as people who had come from a living and potent culture. " Although she assumes that Josiah Cole wishes to employ a governess, he has no parent, and she discovers that what attracts him is the thought of a well-connected wife.
Incidentally, as we first encounter Mehuru, he himself owns a slave, although slave-owning in Yoruba is not at all the cruel dehumanising industry we are to read of later, but more a convenient and sometimes temporary arrangement between two individuals.
Mehuru is captured, and he nex severa chapters detail his horrific experiences as he desperately ries to communicate with his kidnapper, and to help them that he is an emissary, travelling through parts of Africa, to illustrate the message from the higher priests concerning their internal anti-slavery decisions.
Portion of he tal, such as that of the slave called " Died-of-Shame " may reduce you to tears.Frances and Mehuru are the main protagonist, but we also follow the Cole family 's tal.
He is usually shown very effectively from Frances 's point of view, as she gradually begins to comprehend the horrors of the slave trade.Frances has been aken on to teach thirteen slaves bought by her daughter, in order that they an be sold as fashionable novelty servants for selected members of he rich London aristocracy, at a premium rate.
She therefore finds that her life and entire fortune are now dependent on the trade of sugar, rum- and slaves.
She has come face to face with real people involved in slavery from both ends, including those brought to her house as slaves, captured and bought with her own money.
Practically the cook and servants, initially as exclusive, aggressive and judgemental as anyone, begin to side with the slaves, and this reader learns that both underclasses are forming a sort of solidarity.The storyline is an nteresting one, and Philippa Gregory has some skill in conveying both a strong kin of place and the immediacy of the moment.
Whether it gives us an authentic historical view of these me is another matter.A Respectable Trade is a good yarn and it goe from a ood place, wanting to tussle with the many complex moral issues involved in this aspect of history.