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A Respectable Trade

Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 17 hrs and 25 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Summary

From the best-selling author of The Other Boleyn Girl

Bristol in 1787 is booming, from its stinking docks to its elegant new houses. Josiah Cole, a small dockside trader, is prepared to gamble everything to join the big players of the city. But he needs ready cash and a well-connected wife. An arranged marriage to Frances Scott is a mutually convenient solution. Trading her social contacts for Josiah’s protection, Frances enters the world of the Bristol merchants and finds her life and fortune dependent on the respectable trade of sugar, rum and slaves. 

Once again Philippa Gregory brings her unique combination of a vivid sense of history and inimitable storytelling skills to illuminate a complex period of our past. Powerful, haunting, intensely disturbing, this is a novel of desire and shame, of individuals, of a society and of a whole continent devastated by the greed of others. 

©1995 Philippa Gregory (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about A Respectable Trade

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Five star performance

Best narration I have ever heard. The sheer variety of accents is one thing, but to make each character so distinctive and recognisable is a true gift. Brilliant rendition.

5 people found this helpful

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Brilliant story.

A truly gripping story of the personal lives of the people involved in and affected by the slave trade.Wonderful characters ,I was sad to finish it , definitely thoroughly enjoyable.

4 people found this helpful

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What a performance

I have never read a book by this author and I was totally enthralled by it. A fascinating plot really brought to life by the absolutely stunning performance of the narrator- what a skill to bring a book to life in this way. Congratulations.

3 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended..

It feels wrong to say you ‘enjoyed’ a book who’s central theme is slavery and suffering, but it certainly makes you reflect on this ‘respectable trade’. Many factual historical events were referred to, the facts of which at times beggar belief. I would thoroughly recommend this book & a special mention to Adjoa Andoh. She was fantastic. The best narrator I’ve come across.

2 people found this helpful

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Magnificient

A masterpiece from start to finish. Philippa Gregory captures the inhumanity of the slave trade, the dog eat dog world of Regency society, its values and the disgusting nature of the slave owners woven into a tragic love story of two worlds far apart. One feels sorry for Frances trapped in a loveless marriage, trying to keep a position yet finally realising the true meaning of the trade that her husband deals in that brought her the only love she knew. One is caught in the tragedy and despair of the slaves brought to England for training as well as that of Josiah desperately trying to clamber up the greasy pole of society but never truly being accepted. The narrator , Adjoa Andoh, truly brings the story alive. This is a tour de force on all levels. Highly enjoyable and moving.

2 people found this helpful

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How history should be taught.

A great story illustrating how the horrific realities of the slave trade became acceptable to the polite society of the 18th century by de-humanising the resource. The subjugation of the common traders by the aristocracy was brilliantly demonstrated. This is how history should be taught in schools. The narrator was superb with all accents brilliantly tackled, bringing each character to life. Thoroughly enjoyed.

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a first rate performance of a truly terrible book

I usually like Philippa Gregory but the story of this book is preposterous. What could have been a sensitive portrayal of a an interesting, important story is given a one-dimensional Mills and Boon treatment. No character development at all just several one dimensional characters. I gave up before finishing. I only listened as long as I did because the performance was absolutely excellent, and I kept hoping the story would gather more depth but finally I could take no more when one character had to explain to another they couldn't be in a romantic relationship as long as she owned him as a slave. Unbelievable.

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Superb performance

A really good story, if a bit predictable. Has been made into a great listen by Adjoa Andohs stunning narration.

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Andoh's performance is equisite.

It's a fascinating book and I enjoyed it thoroughly, particularly as I have just moved to Bristol. What is especially good though is Adjoa Andohs.s stunning narration, so rich, nuanced and such a range of well wrought characters . I've listened to circ 20 books so I'm a relative newbie but this is by far the best audible performance (and it is a performance no question) that I have listened to. Anyway, well worth a listen!

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent book, really well done

This is one of the most enthralling books I've listened to, in the main part because of the brilliant narration by the Adjoa Andoh and Philippa Gregory's writing. It's not often I can't stop listening but this was one of those books. Treat yourself to this one, you won't regret it

1 person found this helpful

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  • EssieE
  • 29-08-20

This One Was Difficult

Phillipa Gregory's "A Respectable Trade" , narrated dramatically by Adjoa Andoh is engrossing and difficult to listen to in the same vein. With a twist in the tale, the story demands undivided attention. She portrays the best and the worst in human nature whilst displaying a spirit of nobility and dignity that transcends race. Exceptional.