This is the first comprehensive study of the thousands of Britons captured and enslaved in North Africa in the early modern period, charting their lives from capture to eventual liberation, death in Barbary, or for a lucky few, escape. It outlines the character of Barbary’s government and society, the world of the corsairs, and the wider context of Mediterranean slavery. Using letters from slaves and accounts by former slaves, the book describes the trauma of the slave market, the lives of galley-slaves and labourers, and the fate of female captives. It explores the significance of their faith for some captives, especially puritans, but shows how a significant minority apostatized and accepted Islam, seduced by promises or hoping to ease their conditions. For them, and for other Britons who joined the corsairs voluntarily, identity became fluid and multilayered. The book also explores in depth how ransoms were raised by families and by state-sponsored charitable collections, and how redemptions were organized by merchants, consuls, and other intermediaries. Most families were too poor to raise a ransom, and the state came under intense pressure to intervene. The book shows how from the mid-seventeenth century, the state practised a form of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ that eventually curbed the corsairs. The Barbary corsairs posed a threat to all European powers, and the book places the British story within the wider context of Mediterranean slavery, which saw Moors and Christians as both captors and captives.