The Life and Adventures of Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw

Frances Milton TROLLOPE (1779 - 1863)

The novel begins with the arrival of a family staking a claim in the black delta of the Deep South. Whitlaw is a brutish sort who bullies his cowering wife into working herself to death. Shortly after giving birth to a strapping man-child, the wife, Portia, dutifully dies. Her sister-in-law, Clio, takes over the responsibilities of raising the young Whitlaw and tending to every need and whim of her brother. Jonathan Jefferson grows up to be shrewd, conniving, and sly, driven – as Trollope thought most Americans were – by a compulsion for financial success. He and his father build up a prosperous store, selling to boats coming down the Mississippi. Jonathan meets Colonel Dart on one of his river trips, who decides to mentor him into becoming his personal confidential clerk. Translated, this means that Jonathan will be expected to spy on the slaves to make sure that they are not slacking, stealing, or conspiring to murder the Dart family. Once the Whitlaws are resituated in an area called Mount Etna, near Natchez, they meet the Steinmark family. These are immigrants from Bavaria who are in Trollope’s story as exemplars of farmers who can run a large, successful operation without slaves. The Whitlaws look down on them because according to their code, having slaves is a status symbol. To the Steinmarks, having slaves is an abomination against God, and at risk to their own lives, they give sanctuary to slave refugees.Jonathan’s philosophy is that in America, every man should be free to do whatever he pleases. Accordingly, he is quite the hedonist. Of course, slaves are not considered men, and white women are not considered a part of mankind. He is rather astounded then when Steinmark’s only daughter, Lotte, refuses to marry him. Piqued, he intends to take by force Phebe, an attractive, light-skinned, devoutly religious young slave. His efforts are thwarted by Old Juno, the ancient slave matriarch of the plantation. She is able to control Whitlaw through his terror of her supernatural powers. (Summary by Michele Eaton)

Genre(s): General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter 1 Anna Simon
00:25:16
Play 02 Chapter 2 Ralph Crown
00:21:08
Play 03 Chapter 3 Ralph Crown
00:19:31
Play 04 Chapter 4 Lynne T
00:21:03
Play 05 Chapter 5 Lynne T
00:12:07
Play 06 Chapter 6 MaryAnn
00:21:34
Play 07 Chapter 7 KHand
00:07:40
Play 08 Chapter 8 KHand
00:17:37
Play 09 Chapter 9 Lynne T
00:17:02
Play 10 Chapter 10 Ralph Crown
00:42:22
Play 11 Chapter 11 Julia Niedermaier
00:16:40
Play 12 Chapter 12 Lynne T
00:13:24
Play 13 Chapter 13 KHand
00:12:15
Play 14 Chapter 14 KHand
00:14:42
Play 15 Chapter 15 KHand
00:14:37
Play 16 Chapter 16 Lynne T
00:22:32
Play 17 Chapter 17 Soumen Barua
00:18:17
Play 18 Chapter 18 KHand
00:09:38
Play 19 Chapter 19 KHand
00:17:32
Play 20 Chapter 20 KHand
00:16:28
Play 21 Chapter 21 Anna Simon
00:17:54
Play 22 Chapter 22 Michele Eaton
00:30:29
Play 23 Chapter 23 Lynne T
00:16:00
Play 24 Chapter 24 Lynne T
00:18:05
Play 25 Chapter 25 Lynne T
00:20:50
Play 26 Chapter 26 Michele Eaton
00:16:44
Play 27 Chapter 27 Michele Eaton
00:19:37
Play 28 Chapter 28 Michele Eaton
00:13:28
Play 29 Chapter 29 Michele Eaton
00:23:13
Play 30 Chapter 30 Michele Eaton
00:24:36
Play 31 Chapter 31 Lynne T
00:09:09
Play 32 Chapter 32 Lynne T
00:12:00
Play 33 Chapter 33 Michele Eaton
00:27:10
Play 34 Chapter 34 Michele Eaton
00:16:14
Play 35 Chapter 35 Michele Eaton
00:21:49
Play 36 Chapter 36 Michele Eaton
00:22:00
Play 37 Chapter 37 Michele Eaton
00:15:07
Play 38 Chapter 38 Michele Eaton
00:20:31
Play 39 Chapter 39 Michele Eaton
00:18:57
Play 40 Chapter 40 Michele Eaton
00:17:37
Play 41 Chapter 41 Michele Eaton
00:27:42
Play 42 Chapter 42 Lynne T
00:14:31
Play 43 Chapter 43 Lynne T
00:17:16
Play 44 Chapter 44 Michele Eaton
00:30:05
Play 45 Chapter 45 Michele Eaton
00:23:14
Play 46 Chapter 46 Michele Eaton
00:16:27
Play 47 Chapter 47 Michele Eaton
00:16:00
Play 48 Chapter 48 Michele Eaton
00:18:02
Play 49 Chapter 49 Michele Eaton
00:27:58
Play 50 Chapter 50 Michele Eaton
00:36:35
Play 51 Chapter 51 Mark Chulsky
00:18:29
Play 52 Chapter 52 Mark Chulsky
00:22:28
Play 53 Chapter 53 Michele Eaton
00:14:28
Play 54 Chapter 54 Michele Eaton
00:19:55