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White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves Paperback – 9 May 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; New Ed edition (9 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340794704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340794708
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Writer and journalist Giles Milton specializes in the history of travel and exploration. His latest literary adventure, White Gold, is the story of Thomas Pellow, a Cornish cabin boy who was captured at sea by a group of fanatical Islamic slave traders—the Barbary corsairs, taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Salè in Morocco and sold to the highest bidder. Pellow’s purchaser happened to be the tyrannical sultan of Morroco, Moulay Ismail, a man committed to building a vast imperial pleasure palace of unsurpassable splendour built entirely by Christian slave labour. After enduring long periods of torture Pellow converted to Islam and became the personal slave of the sultan for over two decades—including a stint as a soldier in the sultan’s army—before finally making a dramatic escape and return to Cornwall. The account is supported by the unpublished letters and manuscripts of slaves and the various ambassadors sent to free them. This is an excellently written account of the history of the white slave trade. Pellow’s story is an extraordinary one but the real interest lies in the picture Milton builds of life in the slave pens and especially of daily life at the court of the spectacularly barbaric Moulay Ismail. --Larry Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Giles Milton has a gift for searching out odd and forgotten corners of history and turning them into bestselling books... this is not a dry history, but a full-blooded narrative closer in style to a historical novel than to an academic study. (William Palmer Literary Review)

Milton's story could scarcely be more action-packed, and its setting and subsidiary characters are as fantastic as its events. (The Sunday Times)

An extraordinary story which few people will be at all familiar with... an exciting and sensational account of a really swash-buckling historical episode (Philip Hensher, Spectator)

Giles Milton's narrative races along as he stitches together a story of heroism, sacrifice and misplaced zeal, painstakingly researched from contemporary writing and records (Observer)

Giles Milton... has crafted an inspiration for those of us who believe that history can be exciting and entertaining (The Times)

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