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Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

By Phillis Wheatley
Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Born in West Africa in approximately 1753, Wheatley was sold into slavery as a child and transported to the American colonies in 1761. She was bought by a wealthy Boston merchant named John Wheatley to serve as a servant to his family. They gave the young girl the name Phillis, after the ship that had transported her to America. The Wheatley family soon recognized her amazing intellect and talent and started giving her an education very unusual for a slave at that time. Wheatley was taught Greek, Latin, classic literature, and the Bible and began writing poetry at age 14. In 1773, when she was 20 years-old, Wheatley traveled to London with her owner’s son and it was there that she published her first collection of poems, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral”. Her work was an instant success and the Wheatley family subsequently freed her from slavery. Wheatley’s work reflects her African heritage, religious faith, and her classical education. Her elegant and contemplative odes and elegies are some of the most beautiful poems in early American literature.

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