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Top Time: Meet the Author: Peter Holland

Seniors are invited to hear a talk from author Peter Holland about his book, Barbary Slave:

“The white slave trade was an essential part of the Ottoman Empire, which had an insatiable appetite for manpower, provided by seizing infidel non-believers, whether they were from Africa or Europe. Between 1500 and 1800 it is estimated more than 1 million Christian Europeans were seized.

“Britain and Ireland were not as affected as Mediterranean European states, losing about 40,000 over the period, but it was increasingly a problem through the 17th and 18th centuries. The years from 1600 to 1650 were probably the nadir for the British Isles.

Barbary Slave is set in 1631, the year of the notorious Sack of Baltimore, led by the infamous Murat Reis. All of the other characters in Barbary Slave are fictitious but the story of former Spanish Muslims known as Moriscos is true, as is the description of Algiers as a major centre for the holding and trading of white European slaves.

“The story of Said, Khaled, Callum, Jack, Laura, Mary, Pedro, Oji, Anna, Mehmed and Madeline, is of lives entwined in this tumultuous year.”