Click here to skip to content

The Interesting Narrative Of The Life Of O. Equiano, Or G. Vassa -Title Page

The Interesting Narrative Of The Life Of O. Equiano, Or G. Vassa -Title Page

Author: Equiano, Olaudah

Medium: Letterpress

Date: 1789

Shelfmark: 615.d.8

Item number: Title Page

Length: 17.5

Width: 9.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Printed Text

Related images

1 2
Title page of Volume 1 of the first edition (1789) of the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797). Equiano was enslaved at a young age but gained his freedom in 1766. After a period of travel as a seaman, much of his later life was spent working for the abolitionist movement, in which he was a leading figure. The name Gustavus Vassa was given to him by one of his former owners. It was common for slave owners to rename their slaves ? it demonstrated the complete control that an owner had over his 'property,' effectively denying the enslaved person's own identity. Although Equiano continued to use the name Vassa throughout his life, for this title page of his autobiography he reasserts his African name. He tirelessly travelled the length and breadth of Britain to promote and sell his book, and at the same time spoke out against the slave trade. The book played a significant role in furthering the anti-slavery movement, - but it was also a best seller of its day and a financial success for Equiano. During his lifetime it was published in 9 British editions (all with substantive changes), it was translated into Dutch, German and Russian, and was also a success in America. Further posthumous editions appeared in the 19th century.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: