Histoire de Louis Anniaba

Roi d’Essenie en Afrique sur la Côte de Guinée

Edited by Roger Little

Histoire de Louis Anniaba
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Edited by Roger Little

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

92 pages | 8-1/5 x 5-9/10
Paper $33.95 ISBN: 9780859896702 Published January 2000 For sale in North and South America only
The African prince Anniaba is the first black hero in French fiction.  With his French queen, he also forms the first mixed-race couple.  Based on fact, Historie de Louis Anniaba was first published in 1740 but has never before been reprinted.  The story allows a degree of narrative and geographical fantasy, but the legal context of the period, in this volume brought into play for the first time, throws into relief the author’s free-thinking stance.  In other respects, it is a period piece, full of travel and adventure in Africa, on the high seas, in France and on the Barbary Coast.
 
Anniaba’s relatively fair complexion, impalusable for some, is a mark of his common humanity and of the author’s refusal to accept that everything out of Africa is monstrous.  It is important to rediscover this forgotten text in a world still bearing the scars of racism.
 
This is a volume in the Textes littéraires/Exeter French Texts.  The text, introduction and essential notes are all in French.
New Zealand Journal of French Studies
“Little argues, convincingly, that the novel’s importance lies in the fact that it has the first hero of colour in French literature and that just as noteworthy is Anniaba’s marriage to a white woman, especially in the context of the draconian laws against miscegenation that were introduced into the French colonies during the eighteenth century. For Little, the publication of the novel in 1740 was therefore an act of courage. An oddity the novel may be, but it certainly does not lack interest.” –New Zealand Journal of French Studies, Vol. 56:1, 2002
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