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Complete Writings


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Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784) was taken from western Africa to Boston by the slave ship Phillis in 1761. Recognising her talent, her owners gave her an education and Wheatley became an internationally known poet before the age of twenty, the first published woman of African descent. Vincent Carretta is professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has edited the Penguin Classics editions of the work of Olaudah Equiano, Igniatius Sancho and Ottobah Cugoano.


"What a marvelous edition of Phillis Wheatley's COMPLETE WRITINGS Vincent Carretta has produced for Penguin Classics. Here are all her poems including extant verse not included in her first volume as well as variants of others. Here are also her letters and the important proposals for her volumes of poetry. Additionally, Carretta has added work by her black contemporaries Lucy Terry Prince, Jupiter Hammon, and Francis Williams to help readers contextualize black literary activity in the late eighteenth century. Carretta has also written an illuminating introduction and included suggestions for further read and notes. In short, this is a fantastic edition for the specialist, the student, and the informed general reader. It will be widely used." --Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola, Univ of Arkansas at Little Rock

"Vincent Carretta's edition of the works of Phillis Wheatley is the definitive collection of her work. Expertly edited, it is a masterpiece of textual scholarship. Every scholar and student seeking to understand Wheatley's life and work will want to obtain this book." --Henry Louis Gates

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