Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp

by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Author)
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Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp is the second popular novel from American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was first published in two volumes by Phillips, Sampson and Company in 1856. Although it enjoyed better initial sales than her previous, and more famous, novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, it was ultimately less popular. Dred, the titular character, is one of the Great Dismal Swamp maroons, escaped slaves living in the Great Dismal Swamp, preaching angry and violent retribution for the evils of slavery and rescuing escapees from the dog of the slavecatchers. The response to Stowe's first work greatly impacted her second anti-slavery novel. Uncle Tom's Cabin drew criticism from abolitionists and African-American authors for the passive martyrdom of Uncle Tom and endorsement of colonization as the solution to slavery. Dred, by contrast, introduces a black revolutionary character who is presented as an heir to the American revolution rather than a problem to be expatriated. Dred can thus be placed within an African-American literary tradition as well as a political revision of the sentimental novel (see David Walker's Appeal (1829) and Frederick Douglass's The Heroic Slave (1852)). The novel is also interesting in the historical context of runaway slave communities surviving for a long time in swamp areas. Swamps were places where runaway slaves could hide, and therefore became a taboo subject, particularly in the south. The best hiding places were found on high ground in swampy areas. (Amazon)

Publication date
August 30, 2021
Publisher
Collection
Page count
545
ISBN
9783985313648
File size
1 MB