Blake; Or, the Huts of America: A Corrected Edition

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$24.00  $22.32
Harvard University Press
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6.1 X 9.2 X 1.1 inches | 1.19 pounds
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About the Author

Martin Delany (1812-1885) was an abolitionist, writer, soldier, physician, and black nationalist. Born free in Virginia, Delany was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he became a physician's assistant and worked tirelessly during the cholera epidemic of 1833. Admitted to Harvard Medical School in 1850, Delany was dismissed after protests by white students threatened his life. After traveling to the South in 1839 to witness the conditions experienced by slaves for the first time, Delany moved to Rochester, New York to work with Frederick Douglass on his abolitionist newspaper The North Star. After a brief visit to Liberia and several years in Canada, Delany returned to the United States at the onset of the Civil War, eventually working as a recruiter for the United States Colored Troops and serving as the first African American field grade officer in the Army. During Reconstruction, he moved to South Carolina, where he worked for the Freedmen's Bureau and dedicated himself to activism and politics. Delany was also a prolific pamphleteer, journalist, and novelist whose book Blake, or the Huts of America (1859-1862) is considered a pioneering work of black nationalist fiction. Towards the end of his life, Delany devoted himself to the Liberia Exodus Joint Stock Steamship Company, an expedition he envisioned as a response to the growing violence and voter suppression faced by African Americans following the withdrawal of federal troops from the South in 1877. In his final years, Delany returned to his work as a physician, supplementing his wife's income as a seamstress in order to pay for their children to attend Wilberforce College in Ohio.

Jerome McGann is University Professor and John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia.
This version of Blake is without any doubt an edition to be welcomed, and will be cited as the principal text in the foreseeable future.--Eric Sundquist, Johns Hopkins University
Martin Delany's Blake is a fascinating novel. I've been waiting for a long while for a reliable edition, and Jerome McGann has produced it.--Robert Levine, University of Maryland
An American literary classic most Americans have never heard of...The actual novel itself is unapologetically didactic, its characters mainly acting as mouthpieces for the author's polemics--but those polemics possess a startling directness that makes a 21st-century reading of this fully-restored Blake as arresting as its original readers must have found it.--Steve Donoghue"Christian Science Monitor" (02/20/2017)
McGann has done a painstaking job of recovering the work, providing scrupulous editing, an excellent introduction, and copious notes that will undoubtedly draw added critical attention to the novel...Largely owing to its historical significance, this edition will be of most interest to scholars.--L. J. Parascandola"Library Journal" (02/15/2017)