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Sweet water and bitter - Sin Rees

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Sweet water and bitter - the ships that stopped the slave trade
Sin Rees
Paperback / softback
Vintage Books
UK Publication Date

Sweet Water and Bitter is the extraordinary sequel to Britain's abolition of the slave trade in 1807. The last legal British slave ship left Africa that year, but other countries and illegal slavers continued to trade. When the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815, British diplomats negotiated anti-slave-trade treaties and a 'Preventive Squadron' was formed to cruise the West African coast. In six decades, this small fleet liberated 150,000 Africans and lost 17,000 of its own men doing so. This is the tale of their exciting and arduous campaign.

It is a story of unforeseen consequences and a swashbuckling naval adventure, full of sensational, first-hand accounts of life at sea; of the grim 'barracoons', the slave-brokers' luxurious compounds and the lonely garrisons dotting the coast. Combining flawless research with an intimate and dramatic narrative, this is a voyage that no one will forget.

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Sian Rees's acclaimed historical works include the best-selling The Floating Brothel; The Shadows of Eliza Lynch; The Ship Thieves and most recently Sweet Water and Bitter: the Ships that Stopped the Slave Trade. She lives in Brighton.

Rees's story is certainly gripping - slavers used all sorts of ruses to evade capture, from running up a different flag (only certain countries had legal agreements with Britain) to simply throwing slaves overboard (early on, slave ships could be impounded only if the 'cargo' were actually on board)
Sunday Times - Andrew Holgate

Sian Rees combines thorough research and strong storytelling in Sweet Water and Bitter
Pride Magazine

A packed history of bounty-hunting and piracy, of high principle and low skulduggery, of roiling surf and disease-infested swamps and of the seemingly endless African coast
Daily Telegraph - Kate Colquhoun

A compelling and moving tale
The Times

A fluent and lively account

Keyword Index
Slavery - Africa, West - History - 19th century.|Slave trade - Africa, West - History - 19th century.|Slaves - Emancipation - History - 19th century.|Freedmen - Social conditions - 19th century.|Great Britain - History, Naval - 19th century.
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