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 ideas of the black Abolitionist crusade. via 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 lifestyles in Georgia, and the lecture excursions of unfastened blacks and ex-slaves, Fisch follows the discourse of yankee abolitionism because it moved around the Atlantic and was once reshaped by way of family Victorian debates approximately pop culture and flavor, the employee as opposed to the slave, well known schooling, and dealing type self-improvement.

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

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A passage in the Anti-Slavery Reporter illustrates this vision of the history of anti-slavery: Every one must remember what immense efforts the people of this land had made, in order to abolish slavery in their own dominions; efforts which, under the Divine blessing, were crowned with abundant success ... 26 With the abolition of colonial slavery accomplished and interpreted as a sign of "Divine blessing" upon the English kingdom, English abolitionists turned, in the 1840s and 1850s, to the task of putting their superior Christianity and philanthropy to work by influencing others to abolish slavery.

In this instance, The Times typifies what Stuart Hall describes as the press's ability to shape as well as represent public opinion: The press "represents" the opinions of the people to the state. These opinions do not, however, exist outside the process and the means of representation. Representation is a two-way process. For example, in the process of articulating public opinion, the press . . helps to form "public opinion" - in the simplest sense by formulating it. We know better what we think, and have a clearer sense of our interests when we see them formulated in the public domain, in a public language, on our behalf.

Indeed, the "worlds of good" which the book might have done echoes The Times'§ concerns about the political efficacy of Stowe's novel and, more importantly, about the elevating nature of literature, particularly for the working class. In this sense, then, Stowe's novel might have done good had it fallen only into abolitionist hands or had it fallen only into the hands of those readers whose education and common sense (read: "class" and "gender") secured their ability to discern the difference between sterling metal and base fabrications.

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