This is the forgotten story of the million white Europeans, snatched from their homes and taken in chains to the great slave markets of North Africa to be sold to the highest bidder. Ignored by their own governments, and forced to endure the harshest of conditions, very few lived to tell the tale.
Using the firsthand testimony of a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow, Giles Milton vividly reconstructs a disturbing, little known chapter of history. Pellow was bought by the tyrannical sultan of Morocco who was constructing an imperial pleasure palace of enormous scale and grandeur, built entirely by Christian slave labour. As his personal slave, he would witness first-hand the barbaric splendour of the imperial court, as well as experience the daily terror of a cruel regime.
Gripping, immaculately researched, and brilliantly realised, White Goldreveals an explosive chapter of popular history, told with all the pace and verve of one of our finest historians.
Giles Milton has a gift for searching out odd and forgotten corners of history and turning them into bestselling books... this is not a dry history, but a full-blooded narrative closer in style to a historical novel than to an academic study. - William Palmer Literary Review
Milton's story could scarcely be more action-packed, and its setting and subsidiary characters are as fantastic as its events. - The Sunday Times
An extraordinary story which few people will be at all familiar with... an exciting and sensational account of a really swash-buckling historical episode - Philip Hensher, Spectator
Giles Milton's narrative races along as he stitches together a story of heroism, sacrifice and misplaced zeal, painstakingly researched from contemporary writing and records - Observer
Giles Milton... has crafted an inspiration for those of us who believe that history can be exciting and entertaining - The Times