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Thieving Three-Fingered Jack: Transatlantic Tales of a Jamaican Outlaw, 1780-2015
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Thieving Three-Fingered Jack: Transatlantic Tales of a Jamaican Outlaw, 1780-2015 (Paperback)

£24.50
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Synopsis

Starting in 1780, a fugitive slave, known as "Three-Fingered Jack" or Jack Mansong, terrorized colonial Jamaica for almost two years. An outlaw, thief, and killer, he was also a freedom fighter who sabotaged the colonial machine by preying on traveling planters until his death at the hands of colonial troops. The legend of Three-Fingered Jack still has currency in Jamaica, but the story has expanded and contracted over the years to serve the various purposes of the teller.



Frances R. Botkin has compiled and analyzed the various plays and songs written about Three-Fingered Jack throughout the centuries in order to show how this story traveled from the Caribbean to England and the United States, returning to Jamaica in a sanitized literary and artistic form, and then evolving from there to be reclaimed by the Jamaicans as the tale of a heroic resistance figure to be revered. As the various productions about Jack show, depending on who is telling the story, the character can evoke sympathy for a wronged rebel, or horror at the destruction he caused.

Frances R. Botkin is a professor of English at Towson University in Maryland.

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