Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Read by Elizabeth Klett

(4.8 stars; 388 reviews)

Harriet Jacobs' autobiography, written under the pseudonym Linda Brent, details her experiences as a slave in North Carolina, her escape to freedom in the north, and her ensuing struggles to free her children. The narrative was partly serialized in the New York Tribune, but was discontinued because Jacobs' depictions of the sexual abuse of female slaves were considered too shocking. It was published in book form in 1861. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett). (7 hr 46 min)


Introduction 6:20 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Childhood 8:52 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The New Master and Mistress 13:19 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Slaves’ New Year’s Day 4:48 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Slave Who Dared to Feel Like a Man 24:10 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Trials of Girlhood 8:29 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Jealous Mistress 14:30 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Lover 15:06 Read by Elizabeth Klett
What Slaves Are Taught to Think of the North 5:48 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Sketches of Neighboring Slaveholders 17:52 Read by Elizabeth Klett
A Perilous Passage in the Slave Girl’s Life 13:08 Read by Elizabeth Klett
A New Tie to Life 11:29 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Fear of Insurrection 11:44 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Church and Slavery 18:30 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Another Link to Life 8:00 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Continued Persecutions 14:08 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Scenes at the Plantation 21:40 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Flight 7:12 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Months of Peril 16:22 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Children Sold 11:27 Read by Elizabeth Klett
New Perils 9:24 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Loophole of Retreat 9:46 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Christmas Festivities 5:16 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Still in Prison 9:24 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Candidate for Congress 6:24 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Competition in Cunning 11:22 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Important Era in my Brother’s Life 9:42 Read by Elizabeth Klett
New Destination for the Children 15:38 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Aunt Nancy 11:42 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Preparations for Escape 19:12 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Northward Bound 7:12 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Incidents in Philadelphia 10:23 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Meeting of Mother and Daughter 8:02 Read by Elizabeth Klett
A Home Found 6:28 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Old Enemy Again 8:26 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Prejudice Against Color 5:41 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Hairsbreadth Escape 11:01 Read by Elizabeth Klett
A Visit to England 6:19 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Renewed Invitations to Go South 4:46 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Confession 4:31 Read by Elizabeth Klett
The Fugitive Slave Law 12:06 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Free At Last 16:00 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Appendix 5:10 Read by Elizabeth Klett


a riveting true account

(5 stars)

an excellent job by the reader. very good volume, pace, and accents. this book keeps you interested in the long story of a slaves short life in slavery (short because of her reaching freedom, a longer sad path for those who did not escape). like uncle toms cabin, you get emotionally attached to the characters & what happens to them. but keep in mind this is not a work of fiction put togther for entertainment, its a true life story. i can not fathom staying in that stuffy hiding place for all those years, i cant even imagine just one summer day in the south while in those conditions! and it never ceases to amaze me how escaped slaves were able to run across friends or family long lost - truly god trying to bring some comfort to them. i am also impressed how this woman focused emphases on how they wanted to work for their living & support & earn freedom - how many people should take that to heart these days. a must read, especially if you read uncle toms cabin.

one of the best

(5 stars)

i have been making my way through much of the literature of this era on this topic. this is perhaps the one which had the most impact on me. written from the woman's perspective, it offers a unique insight into the exploitation of the women at the hands of slave owners. ms klett did an amazing job with the reading. enough for me to search for other books she's read.

Incidents in the Life...

(5 stars)

An important, surprizingly uplifting, and gripping book, excellently read. I found myself sitting in my car listening to the end of chapters after I'd arrived at my destination! From the title one might expect a depressing tale of abuse -- and there's plenty of that. But the author also writes of the many small deeds of everyday heroism that meant so much at the time time. So shines a good deed in a naughty world. The author's ability as a writer won me over from the start. Harriet Jacobs ("Linda") wrote in a quite modern style with none of that tiresome Victorian floweryness. She offers profound insights into the psychology, culture, and religious hypocrisy of slaveholders, and teaches more about the reality of slave life and the impact of Fugitive Slave laws than a secondary source could possibly do. There are many lessons for modern society here. Harriet Jacobs was a great American. I for one would have liked to have met her. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your wonderful reading and for bringing this work to the attention of modern readers. TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)

Excellent reading of a moving book.

(5 stars)

Thank you gloriana (Elizabeth Klett) for your fantastic reading of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. You really made me think you were Harriet, displaying just the right level of emotion. Through you I could feel Harriet's anguish at being separated from her children and her delight in being reunited with them. All the way through I was on tenterhooks, hoping for a happy ending for Harriet and her children. And gloriana's reading is so beautiful and emotional you'd have to have a heart of stone not to be affected by Harriet's suffering. I've also learnt a lot about slavery and the laws and contemporary opinions surrounding it. This is definitely a book that everyone should listen to. Some wrongs should not be forgotten, so that we don't repeat them in future. The book itself is a moving and excellently written first person account of what it means for a person to be a slave.

Excellent All-Around

(5 stars)

This account is absolutely amazing. Harriet pulls no punches as she tells her story, taking you with her into the depths of despair and suffering in the midst of an abominable system where the wickedness of man's heart goes unchecked and even encouraged in its evil desires. However, she doesn't leave the reader there, but rises again with the goodness, justice, and mercy of God in her deliverance from bondage. This account is a testimony to the faithfulness of Christ to the lowly, and the conquering, overcoming love and will He gives to those who are His, and the victory they shall ultimately have!

Elizabeth Klett's reading makes this story Captivating

(5 stars)

A required reading for college that I could not get into due to the authors writing style. However, Elizabeth Klett reads the story with such enthusiasm and passion (shifts in tone for each character, embodiment of the feelings of each chapter) that it takes the story from a dry plea for action against a problem long resolved, to a captivating epic worth sharing with friends and family.


(5 stars)

I listened to this narrative during Black History month. The main character possesses incredible strength and self respect. It’s difficult to understand how the institution of slavery was practiced in a country based on the idea that all people are created equal. The story is full of suspense and historical information. I think all Americans should hear it.


(5 stars)

A gripping, true-life account of the harsh realities of slavery and mid-nineteenth century America. The knowledge, understanding, and empathy gained from "reading" this book make it exceptionally worthwhile, and should almost be required reading for us all. Fine reading performance by Elizabeth Klett. Well done!