IRH Fellow Simon P. Newman‘s most recent book Freedom Seekers: Escaping from Slavery in Restoration London (Univ. of London Press, 2022) has been reviewed in the London Review of Books by Fara Dabhoiwala. Simon P. Newman is currently an Honorary Fellow at the IRH and was a Solmsen Fellow from 2019-2020.
Dabhoiwala writes: “Simon Newman’s new book takes this story back to its origins in late 17th-century London, the birthplace both of large-scale English involvement in transatlantic slavery and of the first popular printed English newspapers and advertisements. As colonial historians have long appreciated, ‘runaway slave’ adverts provide the best surviving evidence of the appearance and individuality of large numbers of enslaved people. They also testify to their continual defiance of captivity. Yet these notices, and the networks of communication they reinforced, were themselves instruments of bondage. One of Newman’s many achievements is to show that this tool of enslavement was invented and refined in England long before it was adopted across the Atlantic. Between 1655 and 1704 (when they began to appear in the first colonial papers), more than two hundred such adverts were placed in London.”
To read the review, click here.