Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp
Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp
Title page of the first edition
Author(s) Harriet Beecher Stowe Country United States Language English Genre(s) Novel Publisher Phillips, Sampson and Company (first edition) Publication date 1856 Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback) Pages 329 (vol. I, first edition), 370 (vol. II, first edition)
Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp is the second 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 was of a more documentary nature than Uncle Tom's Cabin and thus lacked a character like Uncle Tom to evoke strong emotion from readers.
Dred is the story of Nina Gordon, an impetuous young heiress to a large southern plantation, whose land is rapidly becoming worthless. It is run competently by one of Nina's slaves, Harry, who endures a murderous rivalry with Nina's brother Tom Gordon, a drunken, cruel slaveowner. Nina is a flighty young girl, and maintains several suitors, before finally settling down with a man named Clayton. Clayton is socially and religiously liberal, and very idealistic, and has a down-to-earth perpetual-virgin sister, Anne.
In addition to Harry (who, as well as being the administrator of Nina's estate, is secretly also her and Tom's half-brother), the slave characters include the devoutly Christian Milly (actually the property of Nina's Aunt Nesbit), and Tomtit, a joker-type character. There is also a family of poor whites, who have but a single, devoted slave, Old Tiff.
Dred, the titular character, is an escaped slave. He lives 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. The novel also contains detailed descriptions of the wetlands in the "Dismal Swamp" and is therefore also interesting in the context of the way in which African Americans relate to the natural environment.
- Full Text (and some page images) of the first edition, 1856: Volume I; Volume II; at the Documenting the American South web site of the University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Full Text of both volumes at Wright American Fiction 1851-1875.
References and further reading
- Adams, John R. (1963). Harriet Beecher Stowe. Twayne Publishers, Inc.. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 63-17370.
- Delombard, Jeannine Marie. "Representing the Slave: White Advocacy and Black Testimony in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dred." New England Quarterly 75.1 (2002): 80-106.
- Grant, David. "Stowe's Dred and the Narrative Logic of Slavery's Extension." Studies in American Fiction 28.2 (2000): 151-78.
- Hamilton, Cynthia S. "Dred: Intemperate Slavery." Journal of American Studies 34.2 (2000): 257-77.
- Karafilis, Maria. "Spaces of Democracy in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dred." Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory 55.3 (1999): 23-49.
- Levine, Robert. Introduction. Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp. Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York & London: Penguin Books 2000. ix-xxxv. ISBN 0-14-043904-8
- Otter, Samuel. "Stowe and Race." The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Ed. by Cindy Weinstein. Cambridge Companions to Literature (Cctl). Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 2004. 15-38. ISBN 0-521-82592-X (pbk.)
- Newman, Judie, and Cindy Weinstein. "Staging Black Insurrection: Dred on Stage." The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Cambridge Companions to Literature (Cctl). Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 2004. 113-30. ISBN 0-521-82592-X (pbk.)
- Rowe, John Carlos. "Stowe's Rainbow Sign: Violence and Community in Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856)." Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory 58.1 (2002): 37-55.
- Smith, Gail K. "Reading with the Other: Hermeneutics and the Politics of Difference in Stowe's Dred." American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, and Bibliography 69.2 (1997): 289-313.
Works of Harriet Beecher Stowe 1830sThe Mayflower; or, Sketches of Scenes and Characters Among the Descendants of the Pilgrims (1834) 1850s 1860sAgnes of Sorrento (1862) · The Pearl of Orr's Island (1862) · Men of Our Times (1868) · Old Town Folks (1869) 1870sLittle Pussy Willow (1870) · Lady Byron Vindicated (1870) · My Wife and I (1871) · Pink and White Tyranny (1871) · Woman in Sacred History (1873) · Palmetto-Leaves (1873) · We and Our Neighbors (1875) · Poganuc People (1878) 1890sThe Poor Life (1890) As Christopher CrowfieldHouse and Home Papers (1865) · Little Foxes (1866) · The Chimney Corner (1868) Related articles
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Great Dismal Swamp — Canal Der Great Dismal Swamp ist ein seit 1973 staatlich geschütztes Sumpfgebiet in der Küstenebene der Bundesstaaten Virginia und North Carolina in den Vereinigten Staaten. Das Areal besteht aus rund 500 km² bewaldeten Feuchtgebieten und… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Great Dismal Swamp — Coordinates: 36°38′27″N 76°27′06″W / 36.640876°N 76.451797°W / 36.640876; 76.451797 … Wikipedia
Dismal Swamp State Park — North Carolina State Park Natural Monument (IUCN III) Named for: Great Dismal Swamp Country United States … Wikipedia
Parc d'État de Dismal Swamp — Catégorie UICN V (paysage terrestre/marin protégé) Identifiant 93655 Pays … Wikipédia en Français
Dred — may refer to: Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, the second novel from American author Harriet Beecher Stowe Dred Scott (ca. 1795 – September 17, 1858), an American slave who sued unsuccessfully for his freedom in 1856 Dred Scott v. Sandford … Wikipedia
Harriet Beecher Stowe — Harriet Elizabeth Beecher (14 de junio de 1811 – † 1 de julio de 1896) fue una abolicionista y autora de más de diez libros, siendo el más famoso Uncle Tom s Cabin (La cabaña del tío Tom), el cual narra la historia de la vida en la esclavitud y… … Wikipedia Español
Harriet Beecher Stowe — Born Harriet Elisabeth Beecher June 14, 1811(1811 06 14) Litchfield, Connecticut, United States Died July 1, 1896( … Wikipedia
Бичер-Стоу, Гарриет — В Википедии есть статьи о других людях с такой фамилией, см. Стоу. Гарриет Бичер Стоу Harriet Beecher Stowe … Википедия
Stowe, Harriet Beecher — orig. Harriet Elizabeth Beecher born June 14, 1811, Litchfield, Conn., U.S. died July 1, 1896, Hartford, Conn. U.S. writer and philanthropist. Stowe was the daughter of the famous Congregationalist minister Lyman Beecher (1775–1863) and the… … Universalium
P. T. Barnum — Phineas Taylor Barnum Phineas Taylor Barnum photo by Mathew Brady, c.1860 Born Phineas Taylor Barnum July 5, 1810(1810 07 05) Be … Wikipedia