`I pray people will read this richly detailed and absorbing book, with its vivid renaissance of a matter most of us English seem to have wished into oblivion. ' John Fowles Meticulously kept by Walter Prideaux, the log of the Daniel and Henry provides an astonishing record of a trading venture in the year 1700. Two years earlier, the Guinea trade had been prised loose by an Act of Parliament from the monopoly of the Royal African Company, and respectable burghers in a dozen small provincial ports seized what they saw as an opportunity for quick rewards from the slave trade. Few of these merchants knew anything of trading in Africa, nor of the unscrupulous tribalchiefs who readily offered men, women and children in hard bargaining for beads, alcohol, weapons and gunpowder. In the second part of this book, Tattersfield went in search of long-forgotten documents to chart how small provincial ports fared both economically and morally in the early years of slave trading.