Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Univ of North Carolina Press, Nov 1, 2009 - Fiction - 664 pages
2 Reviews
Harriet Beecher Stowe's second antislavery novel was written partly in response to the criticisms of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) by both white Southerners and black abolitionists. In Dred (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 classic novel, Robert S. Levine outlines the antislavery debates in which Stowe had become deeply involved before and during her writing of Dred. Levine shows that in addition to its significance in literary history, the novel remains relevant to present-day discussions of cross-racial perspectives.
  

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Review: Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp

User Review  - Margaret Potter - Goodreads

I'm glad to be done. A nice story with a great message, but dreadfully slow. I liked it better than Uncle Tom's Cabin, but I would not have read it if it wasn't mandatory reading for Major Figures in American Literature. Read full review

Review: Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp

User Review  - Bobbie - Goodreads

I would rate this book right up there with Harriet Beecher Stowe's--Uncle Tom's Cabin. If you liked that book, you'll surely love this one too! Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

VOLUME II
271
Appendix I
551
Appendix II
563
Appendix III
577
Explanatory Notes
595
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

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 at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is author or editor of several books, includingMartin Delany, Frederick Douglass, and the Politics of Representative IdentityandMartin R. Delany: A Documentary Reader, both from The University of North Carolina Press.

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