Renee's Reviews > Clotel: or, The President's Daughter

Clotel by William Wells Brown
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's review
Mar 04, 12

bookshelves: african-american, classics, southern, historical, slavery
Read from January 31 to March 04, 2012

While not the best in this genre, this book definitely has its merit, and I do not regret reading it.

The end for many was, of course, tragic. It is tough to read so much tragedy and wasted life. The cruelty that abounded from slavery was and is staggering.

The story as a whole loosely follows the daughter of Thomas Jefferson and his slave woman. Their daughter and her daughters go through a multitude of experiences, from the "best" slave situation, to choosing death over their endless plight. There is nothing in the book really about Thomas Jefferson and the slave her fathered a child with.

Surprisingly, the most difficult part to read was a passage about bear fighting. I know there are worse horrors than poor bears being pitted against other animals (in this case, a bull), yet, it was still a hard passage to read. The emotion evoked by this scene somehow seems stronger than the emotion evoked by the plight of many of the slaves in the narrative.

There was other very touching parts, and the more preachy passages were not too bad, this still did not touch the same chord as some other books in this genre. However, for a book written so long ago, the vernacular is comparable to modern day, which can be a plus for many.

Recommended for anyone that wants to read a part of African American literature. A worthy read for any shelf.

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Reading Progress

02/01/2012 page 12
4.0% "Wow, really hard to read about the slave-hunting dogs. :("
12.0% "Really hard reading about the slave-hunting dogs. :("
34.0% "There is a lot of scripture in here."
85.0% "Okay, the bear baiting description was horrifying. :("
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