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White slaves

A huge traffic in European slaves along the Barbary Coast during the 1700’s? Who knew? An English lad captured at sea a slave in the imperial court for over 20 years who escaped to tell his tale? Who knew? Gilles Milton the brilliant non-fiction author of such grand books as “Nathaniel’s Nugget” and “Samurai William” knew and tells the story magnificently.Surely that is too many adjectives in praise of Mr. Milton.

No one who reads this book or is familiar with his previous works will so accuse me.”White Gold” is the amazing story of Thomas Pellow, a mere sprite of 11 when taken slave. By combinations of daring, luck, guile and endurance Pellow survived as a slave, raising to lofty positions (albeit still as a slave) all the while determined to return home.

The epic journey that his escape entails is riveting reading.As always Milton offers much background to the central story, placing it within the general context of North Africa’s Islamic kings, British diplomacy and the lot of those hundreds of thousands of Europeans who were taken as slaves in Africa.

The story is rife with palace intrigues, beheadings, eunuchs, harems, wars, piracy the very limits of human endurance and the cruelty of those who so push people.Milton is a master storyteller. To reads “White Gold”, as with his other books, is to enjoy a wonderful combination of entertainment and edification. You’ll have fascinating yarns to share and an enriched view of history. And perhaps like me, you’ll have a book you’ll want to foist on others.

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