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The Quality of Mercy

by Barry Unsworth

As a group of seamen charged with piracy await trial, the true happenings aboard ship are brought to light. Set in eighteenth century England, I was treated to a tale told from every level of society from wealthy land and ship owners, to the common man toiling in the mines, and even the criminal fraternity. I was saddened by the treatment of the slaves yet uplifted by the magnanimous fight to abolish the slave trade for good.

Extract

It had shocked him, yet again, this blindly tenacious sense of property in another human being on no more grounds than that the skin was of a different colour.

Parallels

Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne
Pamela by Samuel Richardson
 

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