Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside The Grateful Slave

The Grateful Slave
The Emergence of Race in Eighteenth-Century British and American Culture

CAD$54.95 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521188661

CAD$ 54.95 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The figure of the grateful slave, devoted to his or her master in thanks for kind treatment, is ubiquitous in eighteenth-century writing from Daniel Defoe's Colonel Jack (1722) to Maria Edgeworth's 'The Grateful Negro' (1804). Yet this important trope, linked with discourses that tried to justify racial oppression, slavery and colonialism, has been overlooked in eighteenth-century literary research. Challenging previous accounts of the relationship between sentiment and slavery, in this book George Boulukos shows how the image of the grateful slave contributed to colonial practices of white supremacy in the later eighteenth century. Seemingly sympathetic to slaves, the trope actually undermines their cause and denies their humanity by showing African slaves as willingly accepting their condition. Taking in literary sources as well as texts on colonialism and slavery, Boulukos offers a fresh account of the development of racial difference, and of its transatlantic dissemination, in the eighteenth-century English-speaking world.

    • Redefines the emergence of ideas of race in the eighteenth century
    • Uncovers important sources for the study of slavery and race in the British Atlantic world
    • Challenges accepted views of sentimental discourses on slavery
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The Grateful Slave is of considerable value to scholars of the literature of slavery, offering fascinating readings of key texts such as Equiano’s narrative as well as lesser known novels and travel literature. The bibliography is quite extensive, particularly in secondary sources, and this book would serve as an excellent starting point for students doing research on this topic."
    - Christopher N. Phillips, Lafayette College, Early American Literature, 2009

    "Indeed, the compendiousness and scholarship of The Grateful Slave, as well as what I would call its ethical commitment to historicizing race and racism, have laid the ground for further investigations"
    -Sara Salih, University of Toronto

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521188661
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The prehistory of the grateful slave
    2. The origin of the grateful slave: Daniel Defoe's Col. Jack, 1722
    3. The evolution of the grateful slave 1754–77: the emergence of racial difference in the slavery debate and the novel
    4. The 1780s: transition
    5. Gratitude in the Black Atlantic: Equiano writes back, 1789
    6. The 1790s: ameliorationist convergence
    Epilogue: grateful slaves, faithful slaves, mammies and martyrs: the Transatlantic afterlife of the grateful slave

  • Author

    George Boulukos, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.