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Playbill, Ganem: Slave of Love 1865


Playbill, showing a play called Ganem: Slave of Love; or the Shoe-Black Gent. 1865.

Ganem, the Slave of Love is one of the Arabian Nights tales.

Ganem, a merchant’s son, rescued a woman (possibly a slave), named Fetna/b from being buried alive.
He looked after her and found she was the favourite of the ruler of Muslims, or caliph, whom a jealous sultan (ruler of a Muslim country) ordered to be buried alive.

The caliph was at first jealous of Ganem and ordered him to be put to death, but Ganem escaped.
On hearing what had really happened, the caliph saw he had been wrong. He pardoned Ganem and gave him Fetna/b as a wife.

The language used to describe people of African descent in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is unacceptable in today’s terms. We cannot avoid using this language in its original context. To change the words would impose 20th century attitudes on history.

Date: 1865

Copyright: Copyright BCC Record Office

Object ID:8982/169

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