Twelve Years a Slave: Free eBook and Audio Book of the Memoir Behind the Film (1853)

twelve years a slave ebook

On Sunday night, 12 Years a Slave was named best picture at the 86th Academy Awards. And John Ridley, the film’s screenwriter, won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Ridley’s screenplay was based, of course, on Twelve Years a Slave, the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Published not long after Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her famous novel about slavery, Uncle Tom’s CabinNorthup’s book became something of a bestseller, selling around 30,000 copies, before falling into relative obscurity for the next century and a half. The 2013 film obviously put the memoir back into the spotlight, and it inspired someone (we’re not sure exactly who) to put the book on the web in a handsome, readable format. You can head over to to read Northup’s dramatic personal account, free online. Or find somewhat less attractive (though still serviceable and downloadable) versions at For anyone interested in downloading Twelve Years a Slave as a free audio book, Librivox has you covered here: Free on iTunes – Free MP3 Stream/Download. Also, if you care to sign up for’s 30-Day Free Trial you can download a version professionally narrated by Louis Gossett Jr. at no cost. Find more details on Audible’s Free Trial program here.

H/T @brainpicker

Related Content:

550 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free

600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

635 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

by | Permalink | Comments (6) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (6)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.