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Slavery in Small Things: Slavery and Modern Cultural Habits

ISBN: 978-1-119-16620-7
288 pages
January 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Slavery in Small Things: Slavery and Modern Cultural Habits (1119166209) cover image


Slavery in Small Things: Slavery and Modern Cultural Habits isthe first book to explore the long-range cultural legacy of slavery through commonplace daily objects.
  • Offers a new and original approach to the history of slavery by an acknowledged expert on the topic
  • Traces the relationship between slavery and modern cultural habits through an analysis of commonplace objects that include sugar, tobacco, tea, maps, portraiture, print, and more
  • Represents the only study that utilizes common objects to illustrate the cultural impact and legacy of the Atlantic slave trade
  • Makes the topic of slavery accessible to a wider public audience
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Slavery in Western Life 1

1 A Sugar Bowl: Sugar and Slavery 11

2 Cowrie Shells: Slavery and Global Trade 37

3 Tobacco: The Slave Origins of a Global Epidemic 54

4 Mahogany: Fashion and Slavery 82

5 Stately Homes and Mansions: The Architecture of Slavery 104

6 Maps: Revealing Slavery 128

7 A Portrait: Pictures in Black and White 151

8 The Brooks: Slave Ships 173

9 A Book: Slavery and the World of Print 192

10 Chains: The Ironware of Slavery 218

11 Cotton: Slavery and Industrial Change 239

Conclusion 262

Index 265

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Author Information

James Walvin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Professor Emeritus at the University of York, and formerly a Visiting Fellow at Yale University. His books include Black Ivory: Slavery in the British Empire, 2E (2001); The Trader, The Owner, The Slave: Parallel Lives in the Age of Slavery (2007); A Short History of Slavery (2007); Britain's Slave Empire (2008); The Zong: A Massacre, the Law and the End of Slavery (2011); The Slave Trade (2011); and Crossings: Africa, the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade (2013).

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