Testimony of An Irish Slave Girl

Testimony of An Irish Slave Girl

Book - 2002
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In 1651, ten-year-old Cot Daley is kidnapped from her home in Galway, Ireland and taken to Barbados. She is just one of more than 50,000 Irish who were sold as indentured servants to the planation owners of the Caribbean, who worked them alongside the African slaves. Some of these Irish servants were young children snatched from the streets and spirited away on slave ships never to see their families again. In Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl, Kate McCafferty brilliantly re-creates this little known part of history through the remarkable life of Cot Daley.

After surviving a failed rebellion in which the black and Irish slaves conspired to overthrow their masters, Cot has been called in for questioning by Peter Coote, a disenchanted British doctor who has sold his soul to the governor of the island. She agrees to give her account of the uprising but only as part of her life story, wanting to set the record straight for posterity. As Coote begins to record the testimony of Cot Daley, whom he refers to as "the biddy" and "the white woman, " what unfolds is the story of her amazing life -- the brutal journey to Barbados, her harrowing y

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2002
ISBN: 9780670030651
Branch Call Number: MCCA
Characteristics: xii, 210 p


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Aug 07, 2013

This book took me a while to finish. The material is compelling and horrifying, given that it's based on actual historical events. However, the execution is less compelling, being that the narrative is in past tense and varies between two characters (one of which is a prig). Although I was horrified by what Cot went through, I felt no personal connection to her and therefore had to push myself to get through it.

I think this is a good jumping-off point for exploring this point in history, but otherwise it's not a great book.

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