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Dred A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp

ISBN-10: 0807856851
ISBN-13: 9780807856857
Edition: 2006
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Description: Harriet Beecher Stowe's second antislavery novel was written partly in response to the criticisms ofUncle Tom's Cabin(1852) by both white Southerners and black abolitionists. InDred(1856), Stowe attempts to explore the issue of slavery from an  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 2/27/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 656
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.694
Language: English

Harriet Beecher Stowe's second antislavery novel was written partly in response to the criticisms ofUncle Tom's Cabin(1852) by both white Southerners and black abolitionists. InDred(1856), Stowe attempts to explore the issue of slavery from an African American perspective. Through the compelling stories of Nina Gordon, the mistress of a slave plantation, and Dred, a black revolutionary, Stowe brings to life conflicting beliefs about race, the institution of slavery, and the possibilities of violent resistance. Probing the political and spiritual goals that fuel Dred's rebellion, Stowe creates a figure far different from the acquiescent Christian martyr Uncle Tom. In his introduction to the novel, Robert S. Levine outlines the contemporary antislavery debates in which Stowe had become deeply involved before and during her writing ofDred. In addition to its significance in literary history, the novel remains relevant, Levine argues, to present discussions of cross-racial perspectives.

Harriet Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, one of nine children of the distinguished Congregational minister and stern Calvinist, Lyman Beecher. Of her six brothers, five became ministers, one of whom, Henry Ward Beecher, was considered the finest pulpit orator of his day. In 1832 Harriet Beecher went with her family to Cincinnati, Ohio. There she taught in her sister's school and began publishing sketches and stories. In 1836 she married the Reverend Calvin E. Stowe, one of her father's assistants at the Lane Theological Seminary and a strong antislavery advocate. They lived in Cincinnati for 18 years, and six of her children were born there. The Stowes moved to Brunswick, Maine, in 1850, when Calvin Stowe became a professor at Bowdoin College. Long active in abolition causes and knowledgeable about the atrocities of slavery both from her reading and her years in Cincinnati, with its close proximity to the South, Stowe was finally impelled to take action with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. By her own account, the idea of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) first came to her in a vision while she was sitting in church. Returning home, she sat down and wrote out the scene describing the death of Uncle Tom and was so inspired that she continued to write on scraps of grocer's brown paper after her own supply of writing paper gave out. She then wrote the book's earlier chapters. Serialized first in the National Era (1851--52), an important abolitionist journal with national circulation, Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in book form in March 1852. It was an immediate international bestseller; 10,000 copies were sold in less than a week, 300,000 within a year, and 3 million before the start of the Civil War. Family legend tells of President Abraham Lincoln (see Vol. 3) saying to Stowe when he met her in 1862: "So this is the little lady who made this big war?" Whether he did say it or not, we will never know, since Stowe left no written record of her interview with the president. But he would have been justified in saying it. Certainly, no other single book, apart from the Bible, has ever had any greater social impact on the United States, and for many years its enormous historical interest prevented many from seeing the book's genuine, if not always consistent, literary merit. The fame of the novel has also unfortunately overshadowed the fiction that Stowe wrote about her native New England: The Minister's Wooing (1859), Oldtown Folks (1869), Poganuc People (1878), and The Pearl of Orr's Island (1862), the novel that, according to Sarah Orne Jewett, began the local-color movement in New England. Here Stowe was writing about the world and its people closest and dearest to her, recording their customs, their legends, and their speech. As she said of one of these novels, "It is more to me than a story. It is my resume of the whole spirit and body of New England."

Robert S. Levine is professor of English and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, College Park. His most recent book is Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism.

Introduction
In Two Volumes
Preface
the Mistress of Canema
Clayton
Clayton
the Gordon Family
Harry and His Wife
Harry and His Wife
Harry and His Wife
Harry and His Wife
Harry and His Wife
Harry and His Wife
Harry and His Wife
Aunt Nesbit's Loss
Mr. Jekyl's Opinions
Mr. Jekyl's Opinions
Uncle John
Dred
the Conspirators
Summer Talk at Canema
Summer Talk at Canema
Summer Talk at Canema
Summer Talk at Canema
IN TWO VOLUMES VOLUME II
Life in the Swamps
More Summer Talk
the Trial
Magnolia Grove
Magnolia Grove
Tiff's Garden
the Warning
the Warning
the Legal Decision
the Cloud Bursts
the Cloud Bursts
the Evening Star
the Tie Breaks
† the Purpose
the New Mother
the Flight into Egypt
the Clerical Conference
the Clerical Conference
the Slave's Argument
the Desert
the Desert
the Desert
the Desert
the Desert
the Desert
the Desert
the Desert
the Burial
the Escape
Lynch Law Again
Clear Shining After Rain
Nat Turner's Confessions
Church Action on Slavery
Notes
A Note on the Text
Suggestions for Further Reading

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