The memoir which inspired Steve McQueen's Oscar nominated film of the same title.
This powerful first-hand account of the degradations and evils of slavery was published in 1853 - eight years before the American Civil War and twelve years before the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865.
Solomon Northup, the son of an emancipated slave, was a free man who lived with his wife and children in New York, working as a carpenter and violinist. In 1841, two circus promoters offered Northup a high-paying job and he travelled south with them to Washington D.C. Soon after arriving in the capital, he was drugged, beaten and sold into slavery. Threatened with murder should he ever reveal what had happened, he spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity in Louisiana.
After his rescue, Northup was reunited with his family and went on to publish this eloquent and important memoir. It was an immediate bestseller.
Reader: Rhashan Stone
Abridger: Robin Brooks
Producer: Kirsteen Cameron.