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Drawing inspiration from Oroonoko by Aphra Behn, the life of Lady Katherine Ferrers and the legend of Dick Turpin, Black Bess tells the story of a slave-turned-highwaywoman whose life has been immortalised in stories about Dick Turpin and a horse that never was.

Black Bess is a continuing serial focused on the adventures of Elizabeth Bean, an African princess who experiences both the hypocrisies of high society and the drudgery of life below stairs in seventeenth century England.

Born the child of an African Prince, Bess became the ward of the mysterious Mrs Bean, courtesan, novelist and an agent of the King. When her mistress is killed she escapes enslavement by donning a mask to become Black Bess, an avenging highwaywoman focused on punishing those who profit from slavery. Teaming up with rabble-rousers, outlaws outlaws and highwaymen Bess and her gang become kings and queens of the road, striking fear into the hearts of the upper classes as, like Robin Hood, they steal from the rich for the benefit of the oppressed.

Their names, unlike her own, will be remembered in the history books.

The series will use the romance of the highwayman to reinsert people of colour into English history, exploring issues of classism, racism, sexism and slavery through the eyes of an outsider.

We are accepting expressions of interest, but it should be noted that we are primarily looking for women authors and writers of colour, whom we feel would lend the best perspective to what we hope will be a groundbreaking series. These should be sent directly to

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This entry was posted by Fringeworks in Fringeworks News on Wednesday, July 9th 2014 at 3:32 PM.
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