The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montréal

Product Details
University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
6.53 X 8.02 X 0.83 inches | 0.87 pounds

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About the Author
Afua Cooper is a leading scholar of the African diaspora in Canada. Her many publications include the coauthored collection "We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up," which won the Joseph Brant History Prize. She has also curated three exhibits on black Canadian history. Cooper taught history and Canadian studies at the University of Toronto and Caribbean studies at Ryerson University. She is a celebrated dub poet, whose work is available in print and audio. "Essence" has listed Cooper as one of the twenty-five notable international women who have "put themselves on the line to change the world."

Cooper connects Angélique's fate with the wide world of Atlantic, American, and Canadian slavery, and with the intimate world of the household where Angélique worked. An enthralling and important tale.

As rigorous scholarly research, Cooper examines trial transcripts, private letters, and other New World correspondence to produce an academic coup. Her book offers a new perspective on Canadian slavery, altering the image of ourselves as benign: 'Slavery was as Canadian as it was American or West Indian.' As a dramatic re-telling of one slave woman's life of oppression, The Hanging of Angélique reaffirms and extends the feminist slogan that the personal is political. . . . [Told] in the decisive language of an historian and with a sense of urgency befitting a poet.

[Cooper] convincingly demonstrates that one woman's story can represent larger global forces. The account of Angélique's trial is an important source for Canadian history and the history of the African diaspora.

An evocative, thought-provoking and profoundly accessible work . . . [the] story leads onto the vista of Canada's participation in a huge, often chaotic Atlantic world order and a wider story of African migrations and diaspora.

Cooper is to be congratulated for long, careful and thoroughly engaged research and passionate, engaging writing.

The most important piece of Canadian history written in decades, Afua Cooper's The Hanging of Angelique shakes the earth beneath the Canadian nation story. Thorough, original, and masterful, this book is s stunning reclamation of one woman's life, but it is also a reclamation of Africans in early North American history. Trenchant and engagingly written, this book is brilliant.

[Cooper] presents us with an enormous range of scholarly research and heartfelt interpretation to explain, contextualize and condemn the slave-owning society of New France, the New World, and Europe. . . . This book is essential. It has the scope of a great historical novel, traversing oceans and cultures, full of sex, romance, betrayal, escapes, sufferings, crimes and tragedies. Cooper's passionate voice punches through dry detail with evident outrage. . . . The Hanging of Angélique really is an important and original work.

Cooper's passionate style reflects her commitment to shake Canadians from their complacency about their past.