Mary Prince’s astonishing narrative was the first account of the life of a Black woman to be published in the United Kingdom and was a key work in turning British public opinion against institutionalized enslavement.
Born to an enslaved family, Mary was determined to open people’s eyes to the evils of slavery. Authentic and unsparing, her memoir tells of an extraordinary journey. Mary suffered incredible hardship as an enslaved person in Bermuda, then was forced into grueling work in the Turks Islands salt mines, and underwent debilitating physical labors in Antigua before finally benefiting from a providential move to England. There, Mary found assistance from the Anti-Slavery Society, and with her powerful story of courage, resolve, and resistance, she famously took up the abolitionist cause.
A sensation upon its publication, The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave sparked high-profile libel actions and compelled Prince to present an antislavery petition to Parliament—the first woman ever to do so.
Revised edition: Previously published as The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave, this edition of The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.