Aunt Phillis's Cabin

Aunt Phillis's Cabin

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Aunt Phillis's Cabin; or, Southern Life As It Is by Mary Henderson Eastman is a plantation fiction novel, and is perhaps the most read anti-Tom novel in American literature. It was published by Lippincott, Grambo & Co. of Philadelphia in 1852 as a response to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, published earlier that year. The novel sold 20,000-30,000 copies, making it a strong commercial success and bestseller. Based on her growing up in Warrenton, Virginia of an elite planter family, Eastman portrays plantation owners and slaves as mutually respectful, kind, and happy beings. Published in 1852, Aunt Phillis's Cabin contains contrasts and comparisons to the anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which was published earlier that year. It serves as an antithesis; Eastman's novel deliberately referred to the situation in Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, where plantation owners abuse their repressed, disloyal slaves. Eastman portrays white plantation owners who behave benignly toward their slaves. Eastman also uses quotes from various sources - including Uncle Tom's Cabin itself - to explain that slavery is a natural institution, and essential to life.[1] Like other novels of the genre, it contains much dialogue between masters and slaves, in which she portrays "the essential happiness of slaves in the South as compared to the inevitable sufferings of free blacks and the working classes in the North," as noted by the scholar Stephen Railton in the website Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture The story is set in unnamed rural town in Virginia, which is frequented by several plantation owners living around it. The town relies on trade from the cotton plantations for its economy. Understanding this, the plantation owners, in contrast to their neighbors in surrounding towns, have adopted a benign approach towards their slaves to keep them peaceful and assure the safety of the town. Several characters in and around the town are introduced throughout the story, demonstrating how this process works and the delicate balance of such a process in action. Although obscure today, the novel remains one of the most-read examples of the anti-Tom genre. Between 20,000 and 30,000 copies of Aunt Phillis's Cabin were sold upon its initial release in 1852.[3] The novel was the most commercially successful of the anti-Tom genre until the publication of The Lofty and the Lowly, or Good in All and None All Good in 1853, which sold 8,000 copies within the first weeks of publication
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Product details

  • Paperback | 228 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 12.95mm | 403.7g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1508474214
  • 9781508474210

About Mary H Eastman

Seth Eastman (1808-1875) and his second wife Mary Henderson Eastman (1818 - 24 February 1887[1]) were instrumental in recording Native American life. Eastman was an artist and West Point graduate who served in the US Army, first as a mapmaker and illustrator. He had two tours at Fort Snelling, Minnesota Territory; during the second, extended tour he was commanding officer of the fort. During these years, he painted many studies of Native American life. He was notable for the quality of his hundreds of illustrations for Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's six-volume study on History of Indian Tribes of the United States (1851-1857), commissioned by the US Congress.[2] From their time at Fort Snelling, Mary Henderson Eastman wrote a book about Dakota Sioux life and culture, which Seth Eastman illustrated. In 1838, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Honorary Academician. When the Eastmans were based in Washington, DC before the American Civil War, Mary entered the literary "lists" and wrote the bestselling Aunt Phillis's Cabin: or, Southern Life As It Is (1852). Defending slaveholders, she responded as a Southern planter to Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery work, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Mary Eastman's novel was one of the most widely read anti-Tom novels and a commercial success, selling 20,000-30,000 copies. Seth Eastman retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General for disability during the American Civil War. He was later reactivated when commissioned by Congress to make several paintings for the US Capitol. Between 1867 and 1869, Eastman painted a series of nine scenes of American Indian life for the House Committee on Indian Affairs. In 1870 Congress commissioned Eastman to create a series of 17 paintings of important U.S. forts, to be hung in the meeting rooms of the House Committee on Military Affairs.[3] He completed the paintings in 1875, and eight still hang in the Senate Wing
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Rating details

27 ratings
2.55 out of 5 stars
5 11% (3)
4 15% (4)
3 26% (7)
2 15% (4)
1 33% (9)
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