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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Gender, Mastery and Slavery

From European to Atlantic World Frontiers

ISBN 9781403987075
Publication Date January 2010
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Gender and History

Gender, family and sexual relations defined human slavery from its classical origins in Europe to the rise and fall of race-based slavery in the Americas. Gender, Mastery and Slavery is one of the first books to explore the importance of men and women to slaveholding across these eras.

Foster argues that at the heart of the successive European institutions of slavery at home and in the New World was the volatile question of women's ability to exert mastery. Facing the challenge to play the 'good mother' in public and private, free women from Rome to Muslim North Africa, to the indigenous tribes of North America, to the antebellum plantations of the southern United States found themselves having to economically manage slaves, servants and captives. At the same time, they had to protect their reputations from various forms of attack and themselves from vilification on a number of fronts.

With the recurrent cultural wars over the maternal role within slavery touching the worlds of politics, warfare, religion, and colonial and imperial rivalries, this lively comparative survey is essential reading for anyone studying, or simply interested in, this key topic in global and gender history.

WILLIAM HENRY FOSTER is Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, UK. He is a former holder of the Keasbey Fellowship at Selwyn College, Cambridge, UK, and has previously taught American History at Cornell University, USA, and the University of Pennsylvania, USA

Introduction: The Problem of Gender, Mastery and Slavery
Gender, Mastery and Maternalism: Christian, Muslim and Hebrew Traditions
Gender, Mastery and Frontier: Europe, North Africa and Natvie America
Gender, Mastery and Empire: White Servitude in New Worlds
Gender, Mastery and Nation: Race and Slavery in the United States


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