Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Ancestor Stones

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Ancestor Stones

A Novel

by Aminatta Forna

Ancestor Stones
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 336 pages
    Sep 2007, 336 pages

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Beyond the Book

A Short History of Sierra Leone
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a small country with a population of about 5.3 million on the west coast of Africa (map) bordered by Guinea and Liberia (For more about Liberia visit The Darling at BookBrowse and click the "BookBrowse Says" link). The life expectancy of men is 39 years and women 42 years. The name is an adaptation of the Portuguese, "serra leoa" (lion mountains).

During the 18th century it was an important center for the slave trade. In the late 18th century, British abolitionists and the Sierra Leone Company founded Freetown as a home for Black Britons* and in 1808 the country became the first British colony in Africa; by 1821 Freetown was the seat of government for all British colonies in West Africa.

Sierra Leone gained its independence in 1961. In 1967 a military coup deposed Premier Siaka Stevens' government; a year later Stevens returned to power following another military coup. In 1978 Stevens ...

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