White Gold by Giles Milton
The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves

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The true story of white European slaves in eighteenth century Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco

In the summer of 1716, a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and fifty-one of his comrades were captured at sea by the Barbary corsairs. Their captors--Ali Hakem and his network of Islamic slave traders--had declared war on the whole of Christendom. France, Spain, England and Italy had suffered a series of devastating attacks. Thousands of Europeans had been snatched from their homes and taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Salé in Morocco.

Pellow and his shipmates were bought by the tyrannical sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail, who was constructing an imperial palace of such scale and grandeur that it would surpass every other building in the world, a palace built entirely by Christian slave labor.

Resourceful, resilient, and quick-thinking, Pellow was selected by Moulay Ismail for special treatment, and was one of the fortunate few who survived to tell his tale.

An extraordinary and shocking story, drawn from unpublished letters and manuscripts written by slaves and by the padres and ambassadors sent to free them, White Gold reveals a disturbing and long forgotten chapter of history.


About Giles Milton

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Giles Milton is the author of three books, including a history of the seventeenth-century spice wars in the Dutch East Indies, Nathaniel’s Nutmeg.
Published June 13, 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 336 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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For this harrowing story of white captives in 18th-century Morocco, Milton (author of the highly praised Nathaniel's Nutmeg ) draws primarily on the memoir of

May 02 2005 | Read Full Review of White Gold: The Extraordinary...

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