A Distant Magic: A tale of freedom

Cat_243_dover By Mary Jo

All books are special to an author, but some are more special.  A Distant Magic, whose official street date was yesterday, is definitely in the more special category. 

As the third (and possibly last) in my Guardian series, ADM features magical families who are sworn to use their abilities to help humankind.  Each book has been built around a larger historical issue.  A Kiss of Fate was set against the backdrop of the Scottish Rising of ’45.  Stolen Magic dealt with some of the implications of the Industrial Revolution.

A_distant_magicapril_07 A Distant Magic is about slavery. 

Or, more accurately, about abolition. I had a heroine for this third book.  Jean Macrae, a petite but forceful redheaded Scot, had appeared in the first two books.  She’d lost her sweetheart in the Rising, and eventually been packed off to spend social seasons in London in the hopes she’d find herself a husband. Not a powerful mage like most of her relatives, she was content to be the practical one in the family.  She also has a conviction that she wouldn’t marry a fellow Guardian.

So I had a character to build on, but what about a story?  The genesis of A Distant Magic was reading a review in the local paper about a new book called Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild. The book is about the 18th century British abolition movement, and the review was so fascinating that I promptly bought a copy.  Bury_the_chains Hochschild is a terrific writer, and his tale of abolition had the compulsive fascination of a novel.  (The book was a finalist for the non-fiction National Book Award. (  http://tinyurl.com/22heup )

Bury the Chains introduced me to some people I’d heard of, like the amazing reformer William Wilberforce, M. P., and others who were new to me.  Wilberforce was a Member of Parliament, a man who believed in working within the Wilberforce_portrait_374x470 establishment.  He doggedly introduced bills to end the slave trade that were defeated again and again before success was achieved in 1807.  (His first act was introduced in 1789.)

Abolition is one of the great stories of history.  From time immemorial, the powerful had made slaves of the weak.  Or more accurately, the well-weaponed enslaved the less technologically advanced.  It was the way of the world, a natural law of society.  There were surely some people who felt it was wrong, but no one believed the situation could be changed. 

I’m not totally sure of why this changed, but I’m guessing that it was because of the Enlightenment and a developing belief in the rights of man.  At any rate, by the mid 18th Century, some people were beginning to believe that slavery was just plain African_slave_march wrong and should be eliminated.  The first step was to end the slave trade—the capture and transport of indigenous people to be sold as slaves.

The belief was that ending a ready supply of cheap, expendable labor would bring about the end of chattel slavery because slaves would have to be treated better and would eventually be freed.  This turned out to be less than the truth, but certainly ending the trade—and raising the consciousness of free people to the wickedness of the institution—was the place to start.   

A piece of history that I learned in Bury the Chains was that during the Revolution, the British army offered freedom to any slaves who escaped their colonial owners and worked for the British cause.  That was a shocker—who were the good guys here?  Some American “patriots” were slave owners who joined the rebellion to hold on to their slaves. 

Runaway_slave_2 As word of the British offer got out, thousands of slaves tried to escape to the British.  Some tried multiple times before succeeding.  So much for one of the myths of the time, that the Africans welcomed being taken from their benighted continent and given the blessings of Christianity! 

The treaty that ended the American Revolution had clauses specifically requiring the British to return “American property”—and that included slaves.  As soon as the war ended (even before the treaty), Southern plantation owners were sending slave catchers to New York City, where many of the escaped slaves had ended up. 

To their credit, many British officers felt they had a moral obligation to the people who risked their lives to escape slavery and help the British army.  (And probably it was also a way of thumbing their noses at the upstart colonials while occupying the moral high ground. <G>) 

The result was a major evacuation.  Many of the escapes were sent to Nova Scotia, but others ended up in Britain, West Africa, and even Australia. (A fact I used in A Distant Magic.)  For more information on this, check out Epic Journeys of Freedom by Cassandra Pybus.  ( http://tinyurl.com/2c4dvs )  Some of the slaves who escaped to the British belonged to founding fathers George Washington and Patrick Henry.  (I haven’t the time to verify this, but I once read that the only founding father who didn’t own slaves and was flat out against slavery was John Adams.  One of those Massachusetts liberals. <g>)

Still, more and more people were starting to be disturbed by slavery on both sides of the Atlantic.  Quakers were leaders in the movement to end slavery, but they were generally considered fringe cultists.  Good businessmen, but they talked funny and, horrors! refused to take off hats for the king or any other man.  Only God deserved such a mark of respect.  So Quakers were not positioned to lead the abolition movement.

Thomas_clarkson But young Thomas Clarkson was.  A brilliant young Anglican clergyman, his belief that slavery was wrong stemmed from a Latin essay he wrote at Cambridge on the subject.  And once he learned the reality about slavery, he could not pretend it didn’t exist. 

Clarkson’s life mission became fighting this great evil, and he spent years riding over England, gathering evidence of the vileness and cruelty of slavery to refute the conventional wisdom.  He also preached to local churches on the evils of slavery, and helped found local chapters of abolitionists. 

In 1787, Clarkson and eleven other men met in a London print shop and vowed to end the slave trade  Nine of the men, including the print shop owner, were Quakers, and three were Anglicans.  The Anglicans were essential to lend credibility to the movement, while the Quakers supported it with their time and money.  (And when Quakers supported a moral crusade, they didn’t hold back.) 

Hochschild uses the analogy that it was like 12 men today vowing to end use of the internal combustion engine: Unthinkable.  Slavery was so bound up in the international economy, especially the sugar trade, that it was impossible to imagine change.  Yet in the space of a lifetime, these men spearheaded a mass movement that ended the slave trade, and eventually slavery itself.  (It was banned earlier in Britain and her colonies than in the U. S.)

Hochschild ends Bury the Chains with an anecdote I love.  When Clarkson died at the age of 86 after a long and eventful life, “the mourners included many Quakers, and the men among them made an almost unprecedented departure from long-sacred custom.”
They removed their hats.”

Thomas Clarkson, the passionate radical, and William Wilberforce, the loved and honored establishment reformer, were equally essential to the movement.  The plot if A Distant Magic came when I read how Clarkson was almost drowned by angry slave ship sailors in Liverpool when he was on his first organizing tour.  I wondered what would have happened if Clarkson had died that day.  The cause of abolition might have been put off for years, perhaps a generation.

This is when I had the idea of building my story around my two characters being recruited to protect the fragile, fledgling abolitionist movement.  Jean, with her passionate Scottish love of freedom, was a natural.  The hero I created to join her in this crusade has an even stronger reason to fight slavery, for he spent years as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates.

Nikolai Gregorio was born in Malta of mixed and not entirely certainly parentage.  Raised by his African grandmother, then orphaned, he was discovered by two traveling British Guardians, one of whom was Jean’s father.  He is under their protection when he falls into the hands of slavers, and swears eternal vengeance on all Macraes.  Which is why he kidnaps Jean when he meets her by chance (or perhaps not by chance) in Marseilles. 

Here’s how Kathe Robin of Romantic Times described the book (a Top Pick): 

“Putney’s latest Guardian novel can be read on many levels. It’s a smart, strong, emotionally intense romance filled with historical details and a powerful message. Weaving together threads of pure captive/captor romance, paranormal and time travel, Putney brilliantly merges three genres into one masterful novel.”

I didn’t really think of it as a captive/captor romance, but hey, I go where the story takes me!  (An excerpt: http://maryjoputney.com/ADistantMagicexcerpt.pdf )

The third major character is Adia, a West African priestess and former slave who travels through time to recruit a man and woman to protect the abolition movement.  She is not only a way of showing how slavery worked then, but she is also the crucial character whose magic launches Jean and Nikolai into a wild ride into the unknown.  And Adia risks everything she loves to make this happen so that others won’t have to suffer as she did. 

This is a book I feel particularly passionate about.  Not because it’s controversial—who in our time would defend chattel slavery?  But because the story is so powerful and encompasses so many brave men and women. It’s a fitting end to my Guardian trilogy.

What great historical stories inspire you?  Do you have thoughts on the long and painful road to freedom?  I’ll be giving away a copy of A Distant Magic to one lucky commenter on this post between now and Friday.  So speak up! 

Mary Jo, ending with Margaret Meade’s famous quote:

“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world.  In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”

75 thoughts on “A Distant Magic: A tale of freedom”

  1. Ohhhh! so much to comment on.
    Bury the Chains is an enlightening read.
    John Adams is the most remarkable president.
    I haven’t bought ADM yet, but will when I’m at the Deathly Hallows Ball with my daughter on Friday night. I’m so looking forward to reading Jean’s story and love the idea of your hero from Malta. I wrote a story with a Maltese Heroine. So many cultures live/lived in Malta, especially then. I’ve been to Malta, and adore it–the “commoners” are a tough but funny people, and historials all.

    Reply
  2. Ohhhh! so much to comment on.
    Bury the Chains is an enlightening read.
    John Adams is the most remarkable president.
    I haven’t bought ADM yet, but will when I’m at the Deathly Hallows Ball with my daughter on Friday night. I’m so looking forward to reading Jean’s story and love the idea of your hero from Malta. I wrote a story with a Maltese Heroine. So many cultures live/lived in Malta, especially then. I’ve been to Malta, and adore it–the “commoners” are a tough but funny people, and historials all.

    Reply
  3. Ohhhh! so much to comment on.
    Bury the Chains is an enlightening read.
    John Adams is the most remarkable president.
    I haven’t bought ADM yet, but will when I’m at the Deathly Hallows Ball with my daughter on Friday night. I’m so looking forward to reading Jean’s story and love the idea of your hero from Malta. I wrote a story with a Maltese Heroine. So many cultures live/lived in Malta, especially then. I’ve been to Malta, and adore it–the “commoners” are a tough but funny people, and historials all.

    Reply
  4. Ohhhh! so much to comment on.
    Bury the Chains is an enlightening read.
    John Adams is the most remarkable president.
    I haven’t bought ADM yet, but will when I’m at the Deathly Hallows Ball with my daughter on Friday night. I’m so looking forward to reading Jean’s story and love the idea of your hero from Malta. I wrote a story with a Maltese Heroine. So many cultures live/lived in Malta, especially then. I’ve been to Malta, and adore it–the “commoners” are a tough but funny people, and historials all.

    Reply
  5. Ohhhh! so much to comment on.
    Bury the Chains is an enlightening read.
    John Adams is the most remarkable president.
    I haven’t bought ADM yet, but will when I’m at the Deathly Hallows Ball with my daughter on Friday night. I’m so looking forward to reading Jean’s story and love the idea of your hero from Malta. I wrote a story with a Maltese Heroine. So many cultures live/lived in Malta, especially then. I’ve been to Malta, and adore it–the “commoners” are a tough but funny people, and historials all.

    Reply
  6. A friend of mine has been telling me to read Bury the Chains for years now. I need to get that – and A Distant Magic too. I’m playing with the idea of reading the first two guardian books over first. I’ve done a lot of rereading lately – the Anne of Green Gables books for my trip to Canada and the Harry Potter books for Friday – and it’s been a lot of fun.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  7. A friend of mine has been telling me to read Bury the Chains for years now. I need to get that – and A Distant Magic too. I’m playing with the idea of reading the first two guardian books over first. I’ve done a lot of rereading lately – the Anne of Green Gables books for my trip to Canada and the Harry Potter books for Friday – and it’s been a lot of fun.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  8. A friend of mine has been telling me to read Bury the Chains for years now. I need to get that – and A Distant Magic too. I’m playing with the idea of reading the first two guardian books over first. I’ve done a lot of rereading lately – the Anne of Green Gables books for my trip to Canada and the Harry Potter books for Friday – and it’s been a lot of fun.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  9. A friend of mine has been telling me to read Bury the Chains for years now. I need to get that – and A Distant Magic too. I’m playing with the idea of reading the first two guardian books over first. I’ve done a lot of rereading lately – the Anne of Green Gables books for my trip to Canada and the Harry Potter books for Friday – and it’s been a lot of fun.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  10. A friend of mine has been telling me to read Bury the Chains for years now. I need to get that – and A Distant Magic too. I’m playing with the idea of reading the first two guardian books over first. I’ve done a lot of rereading lately – the Anne of Green Gables books for my trip to Canada and the Harry Potter books for Friday – and it’s been a lot of fun.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  11. p.s.
    Stories about the suffrage movement always inspires me – honestly the history of most social movements inspire me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  12. p.s.
    Stories about the suffrage movement always inspires me – honestly the history of most social movements inspire me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  13. p.s.
    Stories about the suffrage movement always inspires me – honestly the history of most social movements inspire me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  14. p.s.
    Stories about the suffrage movement always inspires me – honestly the history of most social movements inspire me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  15. p.s.
    Stories about the suffrage movement always inspires me – honestly the history of most social movements inspire me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  16. Wow, so much information I was only vaguely aware of. Excellent post, and am very much looking forward to reading the book! 🙂

    Reply
  17. Wow, so much information I was only vaguely aware of. Excellent post, and am very much looking forward to reading the book! 🙂

    Reply
  18. Wow, so much information I was only vaguely aware of. Excellent post, and am very much looking forward to reading the book! 🙂

    Reply
  19. Wow, so much information I was only vaguely aware of. Excellent post, and am very much looking forward to reading the book! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Wow, so much information I was only vaguely aware of. Excellent post, and am very much looking forward to reading the book! 🙂

    Reply
  21. I love the story of the Quaker men removing their hats in honor of Clarkson. For some reason it reminds me of something I read about Richard III, who is usually portrayed as morally and physically deformed. Yet after he died the City of York issued a proclamation expressing sadness at his death. The burgers of York were quite brave to express such sentiments after Henry VII’s victory. After winning the Battle of Bosworth, Henry claimed he was actually king a day before the battle so he could declare anyone who’d fought for Richard to be a traitor.
    Now I have two more books to add the the TBR-pile-that-threatens-to-take-over-the-house: A Distant Magic and Bury the Chains.

    Reply
  22. I love the story of the Quaker men removing their hats in honor of Clarkson. For some reason it reminds me of something I read about Richard III, who is usually portrayed as morally and physically deformed. Yet after he died the City of York issued a proclamation expressing sadness at his death. The burgers of York were quite brave to express such sentiments after Henry VII’s victory. After winning the Battle of Bosworth, Henry claimed he was actually king a day before the battle so he could declare anyone who’d fought for Richard to be a traitor.
    Now I have two more books to add the the TBR-pile-that-threatens-to-take-over-the-house: A Distant Magic and Bury the Chains.

    Reply
  23. I love the story of the Quaker men removing their hats in honor of Clarkson. For some reason it reminds me of something I read about Richard III, who is usually portrayed as morally and physically deformed. Yet after he died the City of York issued a proclamation expressing sadness at his death. The burgers of York were quite brave to express such sentiments after Henry VII’s victory. After winning the Battle of Bosworth, Henry claimed he was actually king a day before the battle so he could declare anyone who’d fought for Richard to be a traitor.
    Now I have two more books to add the the TBR-pile-that-threatens-to-take-over-the-house: A Distant Magic and Bury the Chains.

    Reply
  24. I love the story of the Quaker men removing their hats in honor of Clarkson. For some reason it reminds me of something I read about Richard III, who is usually portrayed as morally and physically deformed. Yet after he died the City of York issued a proclamation expressing sadness at his death. The burgers of York were quite brave to express such sentiments after Henry VII’s victory. After winning the Battle of Bosworth, Henry claimed he was actually king a day before the battle so he could declare anyone who’d fought for Richard to be a traitor.
    Now I have two more books to add the the TBR-pile-that-threatens-to-take-over-the-house: A Distant Magic and Bury the Chains.

    Reply
  25. I love the story of the Quaker men removing their hats in honor of Clarkson. For some reason it reminds me of something I read about Richard III, who is usually portrayed as morally and physically deformed. Yet after he died the City of York issued a proclamation expressing sadness at his death. The burgers of York were quite brave to express such sentiments after Henry VII’s victory. After winning the Battle of Bosworth, Henry claimed he was actually king a day before the battle so he could declare anyone who’d fought for Richard to be a traitor.
    Now I have two more books to add the the TBR-pile-that-threatens-to-take-over-the-house: A Distant Magic and Bury the Chains.

    Reply
  26. I admire and envy your ability to tackle a tough subject, and the whole slavery thing has to be one of the toughest. I look forward to reading A Distant Magic; your research sounds fascinating.
    I wish the notable events of history did inspire me, but all they seem to inspire me to is horror and pity. I’m trying in vain to think of any great historical event that didn’t include massive helpings of death and destruction. I guess in a way history is like fiction in that powerful antagonists cause the great struggles which are remembered with awe and reverence for many centuries.
    OK, there’s Ghandi. A hero I can really get inspired by, as John Hersey clearly was when he wrote White Lotus. Come to think of it, that’s another fantasy take on slavery, the abolition of.
    I ramble. Congrats on the RT “top pick”! You deserve it.

    Reply
  27. I admire and envy your ability to tackle a tough subject, and the whole slavery thing has to be one of the toughest. I look forward to reading A Distant Magic; your research sounds fascinating.
    I wish the notable events of history did inspire me, but all they seem to inspire me to is horror and pity. I’m trying in vain to think of any great historical event that didn’t include massive helpings of death and destruction. I guess in a way history is like fiction in that powerful antagonists cause the great struggles which are remembered with awe and reverence for many centuries.
    OK, there’s Ghandi. A hero I can really get inspired by, as John Hersey clearly was when he wrote White Lotus. Come to think of it, that’s another fantasy take on slavery, the abolition of.
    I ramble. Congrats on the RT “top pick”! You deserve it.

    Reply
  28. I admire and envy your ability to tackle a tough subject, and the whole slavery thing has to be one of the toughest. I look forward to reading A Distant Magic; your research sounds fascinating.
    I wish the notable events of history did inspire me, but all they seem to inspire me to is horror and pity. I’m trying in vain to think of any great historical event that didn’t include massive helpings of death and destruction. I guess in a way history is like fiction in that powerful antagonists cause the great struggles which are remembered with awe and reverence for many centuries.
    OK, there’s Ghandi. A hero I can really get inspired by, as John Hersey clearly was when he wrote White Lotus. Come to think of it, that’s another fantasy take on slavery, the abolition of.
    I ramble. Congrats on the RT “top pick”! You deserve it.

    Reply
  29. I admire and envy your ability to tackle a tough subject, and the whole slavery thing has to be one of the toughest. I look forward to reading A Distant Magic; your research sounds fascinating.
    I wish the notable events of history did inspire me, but all they seem to inspire me to is horror and pity. I’m trying in vain to think of any great historical event that didn’t include massive helpings of death and destruction. I guess in a way history is like fiction in that powerful antagonists cause the great struggles which are remembered with awe and reverence for many centuries.
    OK, there’s Ghandi. A hero I can really get inspired by, as John Hersey clearly was when he wrote White Lotus. Come to think of it, that’s another fantasy take on slavery, the abolition of.
    I ramble. Congrats on the RT “top pick”! You deserve it.

    Reply
  30. I admire and envy your ability to tackle a tough subject, and the whole slavery thing has to be one of the toughest. I look forward to reading A Distant Magic; your research sounds fascinating.
    I wish the notable events of history did inspire me, but all they seem to inspire me to is horror and pity. I’m trying in vain to think of any great historical event that didn’t include massive helpings of death and destruction. I guess in a way history is like fiction in that powerful antagonists cause the great struggles which are remembered with awe and reverence for many centuries.
    OK, there’s Ghandi. A hero I can really get inspired by, as John Hersey clearly was when he wrote White Lotus. Come to think of it, that’s another fantasy take on slavery, the abolition of.
    I ramble. Congrats on the RT “top pick”! You deserve it.

    Reply
  31. What a wonderful post. I love it when you talk history, Mary Jo! 🙂 Can’t wait to read DM.
    The topic of freedom is so near and dear to my heart, not just finding freedom from physical bondage but finding freedom from emotional bondage as well. As you noted, the journey is long and painful, but one worth the walking, even if One must start out on hands and knees.
    When the slaves were granted freedom (physically) in America, most (who were second maybe even third generation slaves) didn’t know how to live free. In so many ways, freeing them as we did was nearly as cruel as enslaving them because they became a disenfranchised people group without purpose, resource or the ability to live free. If romances set in the post Civil War era were selling, I’d write one about a slaves’ journey from physical to emotional freedom. Ah, well. Maybe someday.
    Nina

    Reply
  32. What a wonderful post. I love it when you talk history, Mary Jo! 🙂 Can’t wait to read DM.
    The topic of freedom is so near and dear to my heart, not just finding freedom from physical bondage but finding freedom from emotional bondage as well. As you noted, the journey is long and painful, but one worth the walking, even if One must start out on hands and knees.
    When the slaves were granted freedom (physically) in America, most (who were second maybe even third generation slaves) didn’t know how to live free. In so many ways, freeing them as we did was nearly as cruel as enslaving them because they became a disenfranchised people group without purpose, resource or the ability to live free. If romances set in the post Civil War era were selling, I’d write one about a slaves’ journey from physical to emotional freedom. Ah, well. Maybe someday.
    Nina

    Reply
  33. What a wonderful post. I love it when you talk history, Mary Jo! 🙂 Can’t wait to read DM.
    The topic of freedom is so near and dear to my heart, not just finding freedom from physical bondage but finding freedom from emotional bondage as well. As you noted, the journey is long and painful, but one worth the walking, even if One must start out on hands and knees.
    When the slaves were granted freedom (physically) in America, most (who were second maybe even third generation slaves) didn’t know how to live free. In so many ways, freeing them as we did was nearly as cruel as enslaving them because they became a disenfranchised people group without purpose, resource or the ability to live free. If romances set in the post Civil War era were selling, I’d write one about a slaves’ journey from physical to emotional freedom. Ah, well. Maybe someday.
    Nina

    Reply
  34. What a wonderful post. I love it when you talk history, Mary Jo! 🙂 Can’t wait to read DM.
    The topic of freedom is so near and dear to my heart, not just finding freedom from physical bondage but finding freedom from emotional bondage as well. As you noted, the journey is long and painful, but one worth the walking, even if One must start out on hands and knees.
    When the slaves were granted freedom (physically) in America, most (who were second maybe even third generation slaves) didn’t know how to live free. In so many ways, freeing them as we did was nearly as cruel as enslaving them because they became a disenfranchised people group without purpose, resource or the ability to live free. If romances set in the post Civil War era were selling, I’d write one about a slaves’ journey from physical to emotional freedom. Ah, well. Maybe someday.
    Nina

    Reply
  35. What a wonderful post. I love it when you talk history, Mary Jo! 🙂 Can’t wait to read DM.
    The topic of freedom is so near and dear to my heart, not just finding freedom from physical bondage but finding freedom from emotional bondage as well. As you noted, the journey is long and painful, but one worth the walking, even if One must start out on hands and knees.
    When the slaves were granted freedom (physically) in America, most (who were second maybe even third generation slaves) didn’t know how to live free. In so many ways, freeing them as we did was nearly as cruel as enslaving them because they became a disenfranchised people group without purpose, resource or the ability to live free. If romances set in the post Civil War era were selling, I’d write one about a slaves’ journey from physical to emotional freedom. Ah, well. Maybe someday.
    Nina

    Reply
  36. BURY THE CHAINS is definitely worth buy–Hochschild is a terrific writer, and he has a great subject here.
    Cathy, I’ve never been to Malta but would definitely like to. It’s such a fascinating crossroads for Mediterranean cultures. Which is why it seemed like a great place for Nikolai to come from.
    Michelle, I agree that all the great social reform movements are inspiring, and that certainly includes the suffragists.
    Elaine, while it’s true that most great historical events were accompanied by death and destruction, there was plenty of that around without anything great happening, so one might as well be part of something big. 🙂
    Susan/DC, I agree that it’s touching that the City of York had the courage to issue a proclamation supporting Richard III. I love Josephine Tey’s novel, THE DAUGHTER OF TIME, which strips away a lot of the historical lies about Richard. (Probably Tey polishes his image a bit, but she does it so well!)
    Nina, you’re so right that freeing the slaves was just a first step and that a long road to freedom lay ahead. We’re still wrestling with the long shadow cast by slavery. But emancipation was an essential first step.
    Cathy–a Deathly Hallows Ball with your daughter? What fun!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  37. BURY THE CHAINS is definitely worth buy–Hochschild is a terrific writer, and he has a great subject here.
    Cathy, I’ve never been to Malta but would definitely like to. It’s such a fascinating crossroads for Mediterranean cultures. Which is why it seemed like a great place for Nikolai to come from.
    Michelle, I agree that all the great social reform movements are inspiring, and that certainly includes the suffragists.
    Elaine, while it’s true that most great historical events were accompanied by death and destruction, there was plenty of that around without anything great happening, so one might as well be part of something big. 🙂
    Susan/DC, I agree that it’s touching that the City of York had the courage to issue a proclamation supporting Richard III. I love Josephine Tey’s novel, THE DAUGHTER OF TIME, which strips away a lot of the historical lies about Richard. (Probably Tey polishes his image a bit, but she does it so well!)
    Nina, you’re so right that freeing the slaves was just a first step and that a long road to freedom lay ahead. We’re still wrestling with the long shadow cast by slavery. But emancipation was an essential first step.
    Cathy–a Deathly Hallows Ball with your daughter? What fun!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  38. BURY THE CHAINS is definitely worth buy–Hochschild is a terrific writer, and he has a great subject here.
    Cathy, I’ve never been to Malta but would definitely like to. It’s such a fascinating crossroads for Mediterranean cultures. Which is why it seemed like a great place for Nikolai to come from.
    Michelle, I agree that all the great social reform movements are inspiring, and that certainly includes the suffragists.
    Elaine, while it’s true that most great historical events were accompanied by death and destruction, there was plenty of that around without anything great happening, so one might as well be part of something big. 🙂
    Susan/DC, I agree that it’s touching that the City of York had the courage to issue a proclamation supporting Richard III. I love Josephine Tey’s novel, THE DAUGHTER OF TIME, which strips away a lot of the historical lies about Richard. (Probably Tey polishes his image a bit, but she does it so well!)
    Nina, you’re so right that freeing the slaves was just a first step and that a long road to freedom lay ahead. We’re still wrestling with the long shadow cast by slavery. But emancipation was an essential first step.
    Cathy–a Deathly Hallows Ball with your daughter? What fun!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  39. BURY THE CHAINS is definitely worth buy–Hochschild is a terrific writer, and he has a great subject here.
    Cathy, I’ve never been to Malta but would definitely like to. It’s such a fascinating crossroads for Mediterranean cultures. Which is why it seemed like a great place for Nikolai to come from.
    Michelle, I agree that all the great social reform movements are inspiring, and that certainly includes the suffragists.
    Elaine, while it’s true that most great historical events were accompanied by death and destruction, there was plenty of that around without anything great happening, so one might as well be part of something big. 🙂
    Susan/DC, I agree that it’s touching that the City of York had the courage to issue a proclamation supporting Richard III. I love Josephine Tey’s novel, THE DAUGHTER OF TIME, which strips away a lot of the historical lies about Richard. (Probably Tey polishes his image a bit, but she does it so well!)
    Nina, you’re so right that freeing the slaves was just a first step and that a long road to freedom lay ahead. We’re still wrestling with the long shadow cast by slavery. But emancipation was an essential first step.
    Cathy–a Deathly Hallows Ball with your daughter? What fun!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  40. BURY THE CHAINS is definitely worth buy–Hochschild is a terrific writer, and he has a great subject here.
    Cathy, I’ve never been to Malta but would definitely like to. It’s such a fascinating crossroads for Mediterranean cultures. Which is why it seemed like a great place for Nikolai to come from.
    Michelle, I agree that all the great social reform movements are inspiring, and that certainly includes the suffragists.
    Elaine, while it’s true that most great historical events were accompanied by death and destruction, there was plenty of that around without anything great happening, so one might as well be part of something big. 🙂
    Susan/DC, I agree that it’s touching that the City of York had the courage to issue a proclamation supporting Richard III. I love Josephine Tey’s novel, THE DAUGHTER OF TIME, which strips away a lot of the historical lies about Richard. (Probably Tey polishes his image a bit, but she does it so well!)
    Nina, you’re so right that freeing the slaves was just a first step and that a long road to freedom lay ahead. We’re still wrestling with the long shadow cast by slavery. But emancipation was an essential first step.
    Cathy–a Deathly Hallows Ball with your daughter? What fun!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  41. Great post, Mary Jo.
    I’m particularly aware of the ex-slaves who ended up in Nova Scotia, having lived there. There was a part of Halifax called Africville. It had become a slum and was wiped out in the ’60s, but many didn’t want that.
    There’s info here.
    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-69-96/life_society/africville/
    The black community there, however, has been in Canada for longer than most, so they get annoyed if people treat them as recent immigrants.
    And yes,slavery was deep in the US system for a long time, and the British weren’t all bad at all.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  42. Great post, Mary Jo.
    I’m particularly aware of the ex-slaves who ended up in Nova Scotia, having lived there. There was a part of Halifax called Africville. It had become a slum and was wiped out in the ’60s, but many didn’t want that.
    There’s info here.
    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-69-96/life_society/africville/
    The black community there, however, has been in Canada for longer than most, so they get annoyed if people treat them as recent immigrants.
    And yes,slavery was deep in the US system for a long time, and the British weren’t all bad at all.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  43. Great post, Mary Jo.
    I’m particularly aware of the ex-slaves who ended up in Nova Scotia, having lived there. There was a part of Halifax called Africville. It had become a slum and was wiped out in the ’60s, but many didn’t want that.
    There’s info here.
    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-69-96/life_society/africville/
    The black community there, however, has been in Canada for longer than most, so they get annoyed if people treat them as recent immigrants.
    And yes,slavery was deep in the US system for a long time, and the British weren’t all bad at all.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  44. Great post, Mary Jo.
    I’m particularly aware of the ex-slaves who ended up in Nova Scotia, having lived there. There was a part of Halifax called Africville. It had become a slum and was wiped out in the ’60s, but many didn’t want that.
    There’s info here.
    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-69-96/life_society/africville/
    The black community there, however, has been in Canada for longer than most, so they get annoyed if people treat them as recent immigrants.
    And yes,slavery was deep in the US system for a long time, and the British weren’t all bad at all.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  45. Great post, Mary Jo.
    I’m particularly aware of the ex-slaves who ended up in Nova Scotia, having lived there. There was a part of Halifax called Africville. It had become a slum and was wiped out in the ’60s, but many didn’t want that.
    There’s info here.
    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-69-96/life_society/africville/
    The black community there, however, has been in Canada for longer than most, so they get annoyed if people treat them as recent immigrants.
    And yes,slavery was deep in the US system for a long time, and the British weren’t all bad at all.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  46. Mary Jo,
    Looking forward to the book. I have every one of your books and I love them all. You will have to forgive me, but I will have to read it after Harry Potter. I will of course get it friday at the midnight Potter party at my local book store.
    Tracey

    Reply
  47. Mary Jo,
    Looking forward to the book. I have every one of your books and I love them all. You will have to forgive me, but I will have to read it after Harry Potter. I will of course get it friday at the midnight Potter party at my local book store.
    Tracey

    Reply
  48. Mary Jo,
    Looking forward to the book. I have every one of your books and I love them all. You will have to forgive me, but I will have to read it after Harry Potter. I will of course get it friday at the midnight Potter party at my local book store.
    Tracey

    Reply
  49. Mary Jo,
    Looking forward to the book. I have every one of your books and I love them all. You will have to forgive me, but I will have to read it after Harry Potter. I will of course get it friday at the midnight Potter party at my local book store.
    Tracey

    Reply
  50. Mary Jo,
    Looking forward to the book. I have every one of your books and I love them all. You will have to forgive me, but I will have to read it after Harry Potter. I will of course get it friday at the midnight Potter party at my local book store.
    Tracey

    Reply
  51. Oh, I’ll be laden with books when I get back from the store. Mary Jo – your latest – hoorah! I shall get it forthwith and with forth. And oh – yes, that Rowling female has got a new book out doesn’t she?
    🙂

    Reply
  52. Oh, I’ll be laden with books when I get back from the store. Mary Jo – your latest – hoorah! I shall get it forthwith and with forth. And oh – yes, that Rowling female has got a new book out doesn’t she?
    🙂

    Reply
  53. Oh, I’ll be laden with books when I get back from the store. Mary Jo – your latest – hoorah! I shall get it forthwith and with forth. And oh – yes, that Rowling female has got a new book out doesn’t she?
    🙂

    Reply
  54. Oh, I’ll be laden with books when I get back from the store. Mary Jo – your latest – hoorah! I shall get it forthwith and with forth. And oh – yes, that Rowling female has got a new book out doesn’t she?
    🙂

    Reply
  55. Oh, I’ll be laden with books when I get back from the store. Mary Jo – your latest – hoorah! I shall get it forthwith and with forth. And oh – yes, that Rowling female has got a new book out doesn’t she?
    🙂

    Reply
  56. Mary Jo, I love that you brought an important and controversial issue like slavery into your romance story. It used to be that subjects like slavery, incest, domestic violence, spousal abuse, and mental retardation were taboo in romances, and I’m glad to see that there are times when they do have a place in a story.
    I know you’ve never backed away from addressing difficult subjects in your novels, and I think that makes for a richer, more rewarding reading experience!

    Reply
  57. Mary Jo, I love that you brought an important and controversial issue like slavery into your romance story. It used to be that subjects like slavery, incest, domestic violence, spousal abuse, and mental retardation were taboo in romances, and I’m glad to see that there are times when they do have a place in a story.
    I know you’ve never backed away from addressing difficult subjects in your novels, and I think that makes for a richer, more rewarding reading experience!

    Reply
  58. Mary Jo, I love that you brought an important and controversial issue like slavery into your romance story. It used to be that subjects like slavery, incest, domestic violence, spousal abuse, and mental retardation were taboo in romances, and I’m glad to see that there are times when they do have a place in a story.
    I know you’ve never backed away from addressing difficult subjects in your novels, and I think that makes for a richer, more rewarding reading experience!

    Reply
  59. Mary Jo, I love that you brought an important and controversial issue like slavery into your romance story. It used to be that subjects like slavery, incest, domestic violence, spousal abuse, and mental retardation were taboo in romances, and I’m glad to see that there are times when they do have a place in a story.
    I know you’ve never backed away from addressing difficult subjects in your novels, and I think that makes for a richer, more rewarding reading experience!

    Reply
  60. Mary Jo, I love that you brought an important and controversial issue like slavery into your romance story. It used to be that subjects like slavery, incest, domestic violence, spousal abuse, and mental retardation were taboo in romances, and I’m glad to see that there are times when they do have a place in a story.
    I know you’ve never backed away from addressing difficult subjects in your novels, and I think that makes for a richer, more rewarding reading experience!

    Reply
  61. Yah, it seems to me that those of us milling about the bookstores from 9:00 p.m. to midnight for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows will end up buying lots of books. I”m planning to buy Mary Jo’s and anyone else’s that I see that I haven’t read yet.
    Malta~Oh, do let me describe my experience. Things I love about Malta (in no particular order):
    1. Purple Bougainvillea (I’ve never seen purple anywhere else but Malta)
    2. Shrubs and brush–as far as the eye can see and the nose can smell–are all herbs and quite edible. Malta (especially Gozo) is rather like a desert. These little weedy looky things growing out of the cracks of the earth are Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and anything else you can eat. It’s unbelieveable. No useless weeds in Malta.
    3. Trees are sparse but those that thrive are quite useful too, such as olive and fruit trees.
    4. Vineyards.
    5. Dry, sunny climate, which has its disadvantages since the Maltese do not have fresh water lakes or rivers, but they always get enough rainfall to keep them in fresh water.
    6. Plenty of evidence of the ancient civilization. The walled city of Mdina is gorgeous and you can’t see it except by going there. They frown on photography.
    7. Exotic location, yet oh so British in feel, giving one a comfortable surrounding. Tea in the afternoon, of course.
    8. Fab beaches.
    9. Multiple religions, races, etc. etc., although the official religion of Malta is Maltese Orthodox, which is Catholic, but distinctly different than Roman Catholic or Byzantine Rite.
    10. Beautiful cathedrals
    11. Surrounded by “enemies” yet they are peaceful people and very, very optimistic.
    12. The entire city of Valetta was designed by an Master… was it Michael Angelo or someone? I’ll have to look that up. But, the streets and alleys are designed in a way to take maximum advantage of sea breezes, so the city is pleasant in very hot weather.
    13. Those love Maltese dogs
    14. Still a viable fishing industry for the individual fisherman
    15. The food! It’s a mix of Greek, Italian, French and Persian. You can get anything and it’s all good, including Fish & Chips.
    There are so many more reasons but I’ll stop here.

    Reply
  62. Yah, it seems to me that those of us milling about the bookstores from 9:00 p.m. to midnight for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows will end up buying lots of books. I”m planning to buy Mary Jo’s and anyone else’s that I see that I haven’t read yet.
    Malta~Oh, do let me describe my experience. Things I love about Malta (in no particular order):
    1. Purple Bougainvillea (I’ve never seen purple anywhere else but Malta)
    2. Shrubs and brush–as far as the eye can see and the nose can smell–are all herbs and quite edible. Malta (especially Gozo) is rather like a desert. These little weedy looky things growing out of the cracks of the earth are Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and anything else you can eat. It’s unbelieveable. No useless weeds in Malta.
    3. Trees are sparse but those that thrive are quite useful too, such as olive and fruit trees.
    4. Vineyards.
    5. Dry, sunny climate, which has its disadvantages since the Maltese do not have fresh water lakes or rivers, but they always get enough rainfall to keep them in fresh water.
    6. Plenty of evidence of the ancient civilization. The walled city of Mdina is gorgeous and you can’t see it except by going there. They frown on photography.
    7. Exotic location, yet oh so British in feel, giving one a comfortable surrounding. Tea in the afternoon, of course.
    8. Fab beaches.
    9. Multiple religions, races, etc. etc., although the official religion of Malta is Maltese Orthodox, which is Catholic, but distinctly different than Roman Catholic or Byzantine Rite.
    10. Beautiful cathedrals
    11. Surrounded by “enemies” yet they are peaceful people and very, very optimistic.
    12. The entire city of Valetta was designed by an Master… was it Michael Angelo or someone? I’ll have to look that up. But, the streets and alleys are designed in a way to take maximum advantage of sea breezes, so the city is pleasant in very hot weather.
    13. Those love Maltese dogs
    14. Still a viable fishing industry for the individual fisherman
    15. The food! It’s a mix of Greek, Italian, French and Persian. You can get anything and it’s all good, including Fish & Chips.
    There are so many more reasons but I’ll stop here.

    Reply
  63. Yah, it seems to me that those of us milling about the bookstores from 9:00 p.m. to midnight for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows will end up buying lots of books. I”m planning to buy Mary Jo’s and anyone else’s that I see that I haven’t read yet.
    Malta~Oh, do let me describe my experience. Things I love about Malta (in no particular order):
    1. Purple Bougainvillea (I’ve never seen purple anywhere else but Malta)
    2. Shrubs and brush–as far as the eye can see and the nose can smell–are all herbs and quite edible. Malta (especially Gozo) is rather like a desert. These little weedy looky things growing out of the cracks of the earth are Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and anything else you can eat. It’s unbelieveable. No useless weeds in Malta.
    3. Trees are sparse but those that thrive are quite useful too, such as olive and fruit trees.
    4. Vineyards.
    5. Dry, sunny climate, which has its disadvantages since the Maltese do not have fresh water lakes or rivers, but they always get enough rainfall to keep them in fresh water.
    6. Plenty of evidence of the ancient civilization. The walled city of Mdina is gorgeous and you can’t see it except by going there. They frown on photography.
    7. Exotic location, yet oh so British in feel, giving one a comfortable surrounding. Tea in the afternoon, of course.
    8. Fab beaches.
    9. Multiple religions, races, etc. etc., although the official religion of Malta is Maltese Orthodox, which is Catholic, but distinctly different than Roman Catholic or Byzantine Rite.
    10. Beautiful cathedrals
    11. Surrounded by “enemies” yet they are peaceful people and very, very optimistic.
    12. The entire city of Valetta was designed by an Master… was it Michael Angelo or someone? I’ll have to look that up. But, the streets and alleys are designed in a way to take maximum advantage of sea breezes, so the city is pleasant in very hot weather.
    13. Those love Maltese dogs
    14. Still a viable fishing industry for the individual fisherman
    15. The food! It’s a mix of Greek, Italian, French and Persian. You can get anything and it’s all good, including Fish & Chips.
    There are so many more reasons but I’ll stop here.

    Reply
  64. Yah, it seems to me that those of us milling about the bookstores from 9:00 p.m. to midnight for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows will end up buying lots of books. I”m planning to buy Mary Jo’s and anyone else’s that I see that I haven’t read yet.
    Malta~Oh, do let me describe my experience. Things I love about Malta (in no particular order):
    1. Purple Bougainvillea (I’ve never seen purple anywhere else but Malta)
    2. Shrubs and brush–as far as the eye can see and the nose can smell–are all herbs and quite edible. Malta (especially Gozo) is rather like a desert. These little weedy looky things growing out of the cracks of the earth are Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and anything else you can eat. It’s unbelieveable. No useless weeds in Malta.
    3. Trees are sparse but those that thrive are quite useful too, such as olive and fruit trees.
    4. Vineyards.
    5. Dry, sunny climate, which has its disadvantages since the Maltese do not have fresh water lakes or rivers, but they always get enough rainfall to keep them in fresh water.
    6. Plenty of evidence of the ancient civilization. The walled city of Mdina is gorgeous and you can’t see it except by going there. They frown on photography.
    7. Exotic location, yet oh so British in feel, giving one a comfortable surrounding. Tea in the afternoon, of course.
    8. Fab beaches.
    9. Multiple religions, races, etc. etc., although the official religion of Malta is Maltese Orthodox, which is Catholic, but distinctly different than Roman Catholic or Byzantine Rite.
    10. Beautiful cathedrals
    11. Surrounded by “enemies” yet they are peaceful people and very, very optimistic.
    12. The entire city of Valetta was designed by an Master… was it Michael Angelo or someone? I’ll have to look that up. But, the streets and alleys are designed in a way to take maximum advantage of sea breezes, so the city is pleasant in very hot weather.
    13. Those love Maltese dogs
    14. Still a viable fishing industry for the individual fisherman
    15. The food! It’s a mix of Greek, Italian, French and Persian. You can get anything and it’s all good, including Fish & Chips.
    There are so many more reasons but I’ll stop here.

    Reply
  65. Yah, it seems to me that those of us milling about the bookstores from 9:00 p.m. to midnight for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows will end up buying lots of books. I”m planning to buy Mary Jo’s and anyone else’s that I see that I haven’t read yet.
    Malta~Oh, do let me describe my experience. Things I love about Malta (in no particular order):
    1. Purple Bougainvillea (I’ve never seen purple anywhere else but Malta)
    2. Shrubs and brush–as far as the eye can see and the nose can smell–are all herbs and quite edible. Malta (especially Gozo) is rather like a desert. These little weedy looky things growing out of the cracks of the earth are Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and anything else you can eat. It’s unbelieveable. No useless weeds in Malta.
    3. Trees are sparse but those that thrive are quite useful too, such as olive and fruit trees.
    4. Vineyards.
    5. Dry, sunny climate, which has its disadvantages since the Maltese do not have fresh water lakes or rivers, but they always get enough rainfall to keep them in fresh water.
    6. Plenty of evidence of the ancient civilization. The walled city of Mdina is gorgeous and you can’t see it except by going there. They frown on photography.
    7. Exotic location, yet oh so British in feel, giving one a comfortable surrounding. Tea in the afternoon, of course.
    8. Fab beaches.
    9. Multiple religions, races, etc. etc., although the official religion of Malta is Maltese Orthodox, which is Catholic, but distinctly different than Roman Catholic or Byzantine Rite.
    10. Beautiful cathedrals
    11. Surrounded by “enemies” yet they are peaceful people and very, very optimistic.
    12. The entire city of Valetta was designed by an Master… was it Michael Angelo or someone? I’ll have to look that up. But, the streets and alleys are designed in a way to take maximum advantage of sea breezes, so the city is pleasant in very hot weather.
    13. Those love Maltese dogs
    14. Still a viable fishing industry for the individual fisherman
    15. The food! It’s a mix of Greek, Italian, French and Persian. You can get anything and it’s all good, including Fish & Chips.
    There are so many more reasons but I’ll stop here.

    Reply
  66. One more thing (sorry) !
    In the book of Acts in the New Testament, there is a story of the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck in Malta. He was shipwrecked due to a gale of some sort. He’s bitten on the hand by a poisonous asp, prevalent in Malta. The Maltese watched him, waiting for him to drop over dead, but he didn’t (miraculously).
    However, in present day Malta there are no gales, hurricanes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster–or so they tell me. Nor are there poisonous snakes or insects of any kind–or so they tell me. They admit they used to have those things but Paul drove them out and blessed the island and they’ve lived free of those things since.

    Reply
  67. One more thing (sorry) !
    In the book of Acts in the New Testament, there is a story of the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck in Malta. He was shipwrecked due to a gale of some sort. He’s bitten on the hand by a poisonous asp, prevalent in Malta. The Maltese watched him, waiting for him to drop over dead, but he didn’t (miraculously).
    However, in present day Malta there are no gales, hurricanes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster–or so they tell me. Nor are there poisonous snakes or insects of any kind–or so they tell me. They admit they used to have those things but Paul drove them out and blessed the island and they’ve lived free of those things since.

    Reply
  68. One more thing (sorry) !
    In the book of Acts in the New Testament, there is a story of the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck in Malta. He was shipwrecked due to a gale of some sort. He’s bitten on the hand by a poisonous asp, prevalent in Malta. The Maltese watched him, waiting for him to drop over dead, but he didn’t (miraculously).
    However, in present day Malta there are no gales, hurricanes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster–or so they tell me. Nor are there poisonous snakes or insects of any kind–or so they tell me. They admit they used to have those things but Paul drove them out and blessed the island and they’ve lived free of those things since.

    Reply
  69. One more thing (sorry) !
    In the book of Acts in the New Testament, there is a story of the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck in Malta. He was shipwrecked due to a gale of some sort. He’s bitten on the hand by a poisonous asp, prevalent in Malta. The Maltese watched him, waiting for him to drop over dead, but he didn’t (miraculously).
    However, in present day Malta there are no gales, hurricanes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster–or so they tell me. Nor are there poisonous snakes or insects of any kind–or so they tell me. They admit they used to have those things but Paul drove them out and blessed the island and they’ve lived free of those things since.

    Reply
  70. One more thing (sorry) !
    In the book of Acts in the New Testament, there is a story of the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck in Malta. He was shipwrecked due to a gale of some sort. He’s bitten on the hand by a poisonous asp, prevalent in Malta. The Maltese watched him, waiting for him to drop over dead, but he didn’t (miraculously).
    However, in present day Malta there are no gales, hurricanes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster–or so they tell me. Nor are there poisonous snakes or insects of any kind–or so they tell me. They admit they used to have those things but Paul drove them out and blessed the island and they’ve lived free of those things since.

    Reply
  71. From MJP:
    I must admit that I never thought of my book as in competition with J. K. Rowling! And I’m certainly not offended when people read about that Potter kid first. 🙂
    Jo, one of the interesting explanations in Bury the Chains was about how the British came to support abolition. In a sense, it wasn’t their ox getting gored–there were few slaves in Britain. (Unlike the U. S., where in the South particularly, slaves were a significant part of the population.)
    What is amazing is how so many of the British came to have empathy with enslaved people they had never met, from a land they would never see. That kind of compassion for other is incredibly rare–usually, it’s reforms are triggered by people who have suffered directly.
    Hochschild suggests that one reason the British could relate to the plight of Africans who were kidnapped from their homes and forced into hard labor was because Britons suffered the same threat–only it was the press gangs that took men off the streets and forced them into the Navy. A small country wit a lot of colonies suffered a shortage of willing sailors, so the Press was considered unfortunate but essential–an early draft. But it did build empathy for African slaves.
    Cathy, your descriptions of Malta were wonderful! I researched the island, of course, but your posts made me want to book a flight over there RIGHT NOW!
    Mary Jo, liking that Paul apparently set an example for Patrick in Ireland several centuries later. 🙂

    Reply
  72. From MJP:
    I must admit that I never thought of my book as in competition with J. K. Rowling! And I’m certainly not offended when people read about that Potter kid first. 🙂
    Jo, one of the interesting explanations in Bury the Chains was about how the British came to support abolition. In a sense, it wasn’t their ox getting gored–there were few slaves in Britain. (Unlike the U. S., where in the South particularly, slaves were a significant part of the population.)
    What is amazing is how so many of the British came to have empathy with enslaved people they had never met, from a land they would never see. That kind of compassion for other is incredibly rare–usually, it’s reforms are triggered by people who have suffered directly.
    Hochschild suggests that one reason the British could relate to the plight of Africans who were kidnapped from their homes and forced into hard labor was because Britons suffered the same threat–only it was the press gangs that took men off the streets and forced them into the Navy. A small country wit a lot of colonies suffered a shortage of willing sailors, so the Press was considered unfortunate but essential–an early draft. But it did build empathy for African slaves.
    Cathy, your descriptions of Malta were wonderful! I researched the island, of course, but your posts made me want to book a flight over there RIGHT NOW!
    Mary Jo, liking that Paul apparently set an example for Patrick in Ireland several centuries later. 🙂

    Reply
  73. From MJP:
    I must admit that I never thought of my book as in competition with J. K. Rowling! And I’m certainly not offended when people read about that Potter kid first. 🙂
    Jo, one of the interesting explanations in Bury the Chains was about how the British came to support abolition. In a sense, it wasn’t their ox getting gored–there were few slaves in Britain. (Unlike the U. S., where in the South particularly, slaves were a significant part of the population.)
    What is amazing is how so many of the British came to have empathy with enslaved people they had never met, from a land they would never see. That kind of compassion for other is incredibly rare–usually, it’s reforms are triggered by people who have suffered directly.
    Hochschild suggests that one reason the British could relate to the plight of Africans who were kidnapped from their homes and forced into hard labor was because Britons suffered the same threat–only it was the press gangs that took men off the streets and forced them into the Navy. A small country wit a lot of colonies suffered a shortage of willing sailors, so the Press was considered unfortunate but essential–an early draft. But it did build empathy for African slaves.
    Cathy, your descriptions of Malta were wonderful! I researched the island, of course, but your posts made me want to book a flight over there RIGHT NOW!
    Mary Jo, liking that Paul apparently set an example for Patrick in Ireland several centuries later. 🙂

    Reply
  74. From MJP:
    I must admit that I never thought of my book as in competition with J. K. Rowling! And I’m certainly not offended when people read about that Potter kid first. 🙂
    Jo, one of the interesting explanations in Bury the Chains was about how the British came to support abolition. In a sense, it wasn’t their ox getting gored–there were few slaves in Britain. (Unlike the U. S., where in the South particularly, slaves were a significant part of the population.)
    What is amazing is how so many of the British came to have empathy with enslaved people they had never met, from a land they would never see. That kind of compassion for other is incredibly rare–usually, it’s reforms are triggered by people who have suffered directly.
    Hochschild suggests that one reason the British could relate to the plight of Africans who were kidnapped from their homes and forced into hard labor was because Britons suffered the same threat–only it was the press gangs that took men off the streets and forced them into the Navy. A small country wit a lot of colonies suffered a shortage of willing sailors, so the Press was considered unfortunate but essential–an early draft. But it did build empathy for African slaves.
    Cathy, your descriptions of Malta were wonderful! I researched the island, of course, but your posts made me want to book a flight over there RIGHT NOW!
    Mary Jo, liking that Paul apparently set an example for Patrick in Ireland several centuries later. 🙂

    Reply
  75. From MJP:
    I must admit that I never thought of my book as in competition with J. K. Rowling! And I’m certainly not offended when people read about that Potter kid first. 🙂
    Jo, one of the interesting explanations in Bury the Chains was about how the British came to support abolition. In a sense, it wasn’t their ox getting gored–there were few slaves in Britain. (Unlike the U. S., where in the South particularly, slaves were a significant part of the population.)
    What is amazing is how so many of the British came to have empathy with enslaved people they had never met, from a land they would never see. That kind of compassion for other is incredibly rare–usually, it’s reforms are triggered by people who have suffered directly.
    Hochschild suggests that one reason the British could relate to the plight of Africans who were kidnapped from their homes and forced into hard labor was because Britons suffered the same threat–only it was the press gangs that took men off the streets and forced them into the Navy. A small country wit a lot of colonies suffered a shortage of willing sailors, so the Press was considered unfortunate but essential–an early draft. But it did build empathy for African slaves.
    Cathy, your descriptions of Malta were wonderful! I researched the island, of course, but your posts made me want to book a flight over there RIGHT NOW!
    Mary Jo, liking that Paul apparently set an example for Patrick in Ireland several centuries later. 🙂

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