Until now, however, no one has written a serious - or even a popular - biographical study of this remarkable man. Few critics doubt the importance of his writing; few historians would deny the significance of his life and times. Scholars have analysed his work from literary and historical angles, but no one has really studied the man himself. This is the first study which attempts to create a rounded portrait of the man behind the literary image, and to study Equiano in the context of Atlantic slavery. It is, at one and the same time, an original portrait of a remarkable African -- who spoke for millions -- and a study of the world of eighteenth-century Atlantic slavery.