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2010 reprint of 1855 edition. Twelve Years a Slave was written by Solomon Northup; a man who was born free but was bound into slavery later in life. The book, originally published in 1853, tells the story of how two men approached him under the guise of circus promoters who were interested in his violin skills. They offered him a generous but fair amount of money to work for their circus, and then offered to put him up in a hotel in Washington D.C. Upon arriving there he was drugged, bound, and moved to a slave pen in the city, after which he was sold. Northup's account describes the daily life of slaves in the American South during the period just before the civil war. He provides detailed accounts of their diet, the relationship between the master and slave, the means that slave catchers used to recapture them and the ugly realities that slaves suffered. Northup's slave narrative is comparable to that of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs or William Wells Brown, and there are many similarities. Northup's also provides an extremely detailed description of Washington in 1841.