The Forgotten Slave Trade written by Simon Webb and published by Pen & Sword Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 208
Firstly, apologies I had written this review a couple of months ago but somehow forgotten to post it on the website.
A century before Britain became involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, whole villages and towns in England, Ireland, Italy, Spain and other European countries were being depopulated by slavers, who transported the men, women and children to Africa where they were sold to the highest bidder. This is the forgotten slave trade.
Starting with the practice of slavery in the ancient world, Simon Webb traces the history of slavery in Europe and examines the experiences of those who were forcibly taken from their homes. He describes how thousands of European boys were castrated and then sold in Africa and the Middle East, and also explains how the role of the newly-independent United States helped to put an end to the trade in European and American slaves. He also discuss the importance of towns such as Bristol, which was an important staging-post for the transfer of English slaves to Africa over 1,000 years before it became a major centre for the slave trade in the eighteenth century.
This is one of those books/subjects that you either know about or have never heard about it. I had heard about a white slave trade and when you think about it, it doesn’t come as big surprise. While I had heard about it I hadn’t done much research into it, but what an extraordinary story which is well written and approached by the author Simon Webb. At a time when there is a lot in the news about BLM, in a way this was a fascinating book in reverse but I found the author doesn’t shy away from the treatment people suffered. In a way the way humans have been treated over the years, nothing should surprise anyone as to what humans will do to other humans for money. I suppose it makes it more shocking when you find it happened to people so near to home. Also if you think about things more specifically these things should come as no surprise to anyone, as I remember the Roman Empire used slaves as did the Vikings, Egyptians people from the Middle East and more. This is a really good book that should be more widely read, certainly one I would recommend to others.