Item description for The Door of No Return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade by William St Clair...
Overview This book tells the grim story of Cape Coast Castle in present-day Ghana, the African headquarters of the British slave trade from 1664 to 1807. From this massive building on the Atlantic shore, countless men, women, and children were sold as slaves and carried away on slave ships, often to North America. Here we read about some of the people who lived, worked, or were imprisoned within the Castle, as well as about its construction and upkeep, the arrivals and departures of ships, and the negotiations with local African leaders.
Publishers Description The grim history of the slave trade from Africa is one that has had an impact on generations of people all over the world. While much of the initial voyage and inhumane treatment of slavery has been historically analyzed, there has been little written on the several forts and castles along the coast of Ghana that were used as slave holding facilities. This book focuses primarily on Cape Coast Castle, the African headquarters of the British slave trade from 1664 to 1807, through which countless men, women, and children were sold as slaves and carried away on slave ships, often to North America. It tells the story of the people who lived, worked, or were imprisoned within its walls, as well as the construction and upkeep of the building, the arrivals and departures of ships, the negotiations with local African leaders, and the deadly diseases inside.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Door of No Return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade by William St Clair has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2009 page 19
Publishers Weekly - 02/05/2007 page 50
Booklist - 02/01/2007 page 28
Foreword - 05/01/2007 page 60
New York Times - 05/20/2007 page 13
New York Review of Books - 09/27/2007 page 41
Publishers Weekly Best Books - 11/05/2007 page 33
Foreword - 09/01/2007 page 1
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 9" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2007
ISBN 1933346051 ISBN13 9781933346052
Availability 0 units.
More About William St Clair
William St Clair is a former senior research fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University. He has also held senior positions in the British Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office, and the Treasury, and is the author of "The Godwins and the Shelleys," "Lord Elgin and the Marbles," and" The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period."
William St Clair was born in 1889 and died in 1974 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Cambridge Cambridge University Cambridge University Camb.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Door of No Return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade?
I feel like I was misled ... Mar 27, 2008
This was indeed a fine book on a certain topic--namely the history of the Cape Coast Castle. However, based on (1) the title of the book ("Door of No Return"), (2) the subtitle of the book ("the history of the Cape Coast Castle AND the Atlantic Slave Trade") and (3) the drawing on the cover of the slaves packed into the slave ship, I naturally expected that this was going to be a book which was basically going to be about the slaves themselves. For example, some of the topics I was hoping/expecting to read about included: (1) How did the slaves come to the castle in the first place (both as a literal matter and in terms of how they were "selected" to go there)?; (2) What was daily life like for the slaves imprisoned there? (What was their diet? How long were they typically there? Were they in chains 24 hours a day? Did they have any freedom of movement? How many were there at a time? etc. etc.); (3) What was the process by which they were placed on the outgoing slave ships? (4) How did the selection process work--i.e. which slaves were picked and why? (5) How did the slave trade process itself work?
Unfortunately none of these topics were touched on in the slightest. In fact the slaves themselves (other than the Castle slaves) seem to be a total afterthought in the book. Instead the focus was solely on the structure itself, including access to it, the outside of it, the inside of it, which officers, soldiers and women lived there, etc. In fairness to the author, the reason the above topics were not discussed MAY be because, as admitted in the Introduction (p. 7), the answers to many of the above questions may simply not be known. However when I bought the book, I didn't know that--I saw the title, the subtitle and the cover drawing.
In short, for the sake of accuracy, the subtitle of the book should have been altered in a subtle but significant way. It should have been called "A history of Cape Coast Castle DURING the slave trade." I wonder whether the impression created by the title, the subtitle and the cover drawing were intentional ...
The Business of Slavery Aug 19, 2007
Written with the Gold Coast of Africa as its center, this remarkable book is an amazing piece of work. The author uses records recovered from Britain's slave forts to recreate the business life of the trade. We learn how and why people were bartered for manufactured goods and the process of assembly and shipping of human cargo. The recovered douments also provide the personal side never meant to be viewed by others. I found this book to be excellent and recommend it thoroughly.
The Door of No Return is a welcome addition to public and college library history shelves. Jun 10, 2007
Written by William St Claire (former Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University), The Door of No Return: The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade is an in-depth history of the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, Africa, and its role it served as headquarters for the horrific British slave trade, until the slave trade's abolishment in 1807. Drawing heavily from years of personal research into the Castle's vast archive of public records and ledges - from letters and correspondence to scribbled notes and even the recipes of trafficked slaves - The Door of No Return offers a unique, in-depth scrutiny of this dark place and phase of human history. Written in plain terms and illustrated with a handful of black-and-white photographs, The Door of No Return is a welcome addition to public and college library history shelves.