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The Woman of Colour

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3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In The Woman of Colour, Olivia Fairfield, the biracial heroine and orphaned daughter of an English slaveholder and an African princess, must travel to England, and as a condition of her father's will, either marry her Caucasian first cousin, Augustus Merton, or become dependent on his mercenary elder brother and sister-in-law. As Olivia decides between these two conflictin ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published October 24th 2007 by Broadview Press (first published 1808)
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Emily
Dec 20, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Janeites (espeically if they like Persuasion best), Edgeworth fans, tranatlantic scholars
Recommended to Emily by: Don LePan @ Broadview
I first noticed this book because the cover art is from a painting by one of my favorite 18th-century artists Johann Zoffany. Then the editor of the edition showed up at a friend's conference panel (which included a great reading of the Zoffany painting). I didn't think to read it until I was it was recommended to me, and I was sent my exam copy.

It's no secret that I adore Broadview Editions. Academically and aesthetically, I think they produce some of the best editions of English language texts
...more
Kandice
Jun 06, 2013 Kandice rated it really liked it
Shelves: comps, comps-19th-c
I would recommend this solely based on its status as an 1808 novel narrated by a Jamaican woman of mixed race (and when was the last time you came across one of those?), but I also found it engrossing and culturally insightful. About two thirds of the way through, the plot disintegrates into the typical eighteenth-century tangle of bizarre plot twists, long-lost relatives reuniting, and generally improbable circumstances, but, as someone who spends a lot of time reading such things, I can't say ...more
Therese Arkenberg
Aug 05, 2016 Therese Arkenberg rated it it was amazing
The modern edition, edited by Lyndon J. Dominique, includes many further readings and firsthand sources—actual wills of Jamaican planters, letters and travelogues, and excerpts from other stories featuring heiresses of color. Read the introduction after the story to avoid spoilers, but do read it for more perspective on the period and how The Woman of Colour intersects with the abolition movement, the early feminist movement, and current events at the time of its publication.

The story itself is
...more
Cera
Jul 06, 2009 Cera rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this, given how difficult I often find 18th century novels. The identity of the author is unknown, so whether or not it was written by an actual woman of colour is questionable, but it prevents a convincing and sympathetic portrayal of the plight of the daughter of an Englishman and his slave 'wife' after her father's death forces her to travel to England & marry a white cousin she's never before met. The plot goes highly melodramatic towards the end, ...more
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