Download American Slaves in Victorian England: Abolitionist Politics by Audrey A. Fisch PDF

By Audrey A. Fisch

Audrey Fisch's learn examines the stream inside England of the folk and concepts of the black Abolitionist crusade. by means of concentrating on Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, an nameless sequel to that novel, Uncle Tom in England, and John Brown's Slave existence in Georgia, and the lecture excursions of loose blacks and ex-slaves, Fisch follows the discourse of yankee abolitionism because it moved around the Atlantic and used to be reshaped via family Victorian debates approximately pop culture and flavor, the employee as opposed to the slave, renowned schooling, and dealing classification self-improvement.

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Additional info for American Slaves in Victorian England: Abolitionist Politics in Popular Literature and Culture

Sample text

I suggested earlier that the fight by Tom and Susan to lift themselves up from the lowly station of slavery bears the imprint of the middle-class Victorian discourse of working-class self-improvement. In fact, Tom and Susan are explicitly identified with the English white working class; their unifying bond is ignorance. Susan tells Tom that when Milton wrote, "knowledge was not so diffused as now, and there were people in England who knew as little of truth, as our unfortunate race now does" (46).

In the world of the novel, Chartists can be divided into two distinct categories: those who advocate physical force versus those who advocate moral force. 15 These representations are personified in two characters: William Clarke, a moral-force Chartist, who stands opposed and superior, not just politically but morally, to Richard ("Dick") Boreas, a physical-force Chartist. Dick complains that he has not had any work and that he and his family are starving. -ain't I justified in stealing? -ain't I justified in doing anything to get food and clothing for myself and those who look to me for help?

The writer of Uncle Tom's Cabin and similar well-disposed authors have yet to learn that to excite the passions of their readers in favour of their philanthropic schemes is the very worst mode of getting rid of a difficulty [namely, slavery, which is] part and parcel of the whole social organization . . and cannot be forcibly removed without instant anarchy, and all its accompanying mischief. " Substantive issues, such as whether Stowe is accurate in her portrayal of blacks in American slavery, are no longer at stake here; instead, what The Times stresses is the manner in which Uncle Tom's Cabin works on and corrupts its readers, leading them to a dangerous state of excitement approaching anarchy.

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