Douglass' Women by Jewell Parker Rhodes
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Douglass' Women by Jewell Parker Rhodes

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Frederick Douglass, the great African-American abolitionist, was a man who cherished freedom in life and in love.

In this ambitious work of historical fiction, Douglass' passions come vividly to life in the form of two women: Anna Murray Douglass and Ottilie Assing. Douglass' Women is an imaginative rendering of these two women -- one black, the other white -- in Douglass' life.

Anna, his wife, was a free woman of color who helped Douglass escape as a slave. She bore Douglass five children and provided him with a secure, loving home while he traveled the world with his message. Along the way, Douglass satisfied his intellectual needs in the company of Ottilie Assing, a white woman of German-Jewish descent, who would become his mistress for decades to come.

How these two women find solidarity in their shared love for Douglass -- and his vision for a free America -- is at the heart of Jewell Parker Rhodes' extraordinary, epic novel.