Tit for Tat (novel)

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Tit for Tat
Author Anonymous (credited as "A Lady of New Orleans")
CountryUnited States
Genre Plantation literature
PublisherGarret & Co.
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback) & E-book
Pagesc.300 pp (May change depending on the publisher and the size of the text)

Tit for Tat is an 1856 novel written anonymously by "A Lady of New Orleans".

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1856.

New Orleans Largest city in Louisiana

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 391,006 in 2018, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.



Tit for Tat is one of several examples of plantation literature that emerged in the Southern United States in response to the 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which had been criticised in the south for inaccurately depicting the practices of slavery and the relationship(s) between master and slave.

Anti-Tom literature American 19th century pro-slavery novels.

Anti-Tom literature consists of the 19th century pro-slavery novels and other literary works written in response to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Also called plantation literature, these writings were generally written by authors from the Southern United States. Books in the genre attempted to show either that slavery was beneficial to African Americans or that the evils of slavery as depicted in Stowe's book were overblown and incorrect.

Southern United States Cultural region of the United States

The Southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Western United States, with the Midwestern United States and Northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1852.

Tit for Tat, however, is an isolated example of the genre where, instead of defending slavery or attacking abolitionism like other works of the genre, it attempts to attack the enthusiasm for Uncle Tom's Cabin upon its initial release in the United Kingdom. [1] Thus, Tit for Tat could be seen as attempting to promote anti-British sentiment in the United States rather than promoting slavery.

Abolitionism in the United States Movement to end slavery in the United States

Abolitionism in the United States was the movement which sought to end slavery in the United States, active both before and during the American Civil War. In the Americas and western Europe, abolitionism was a movement which sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and set slaves free. In the 17th century, enlightenment thinkers condemned slavery on humanistic grounds and English Quakers and some Evangelical denominations condemned slavery as un-Christian. At that time, most slaves were Africans, but thousands of Native Americans were also enslaved. In the 18th century, as many as six million Africans were transported to the Americas as slaves, at least a third of them on British ships to North America. The colony of Georgia originally abolished slavery within its territory, and thereafter, abolition was part of the message of the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s in the Thirteen Colonies.

Anti-British sentiment is prejudice, fear or hatred against the British Government, the culture or the people of the United Kingdom, or its Overseas Territories.


The novel follows Totty, a young urchin living in poverty in Victorian-era London. Totty is stolen from his family whilst young, and forced to work as the apprentice of a sadistic chimney sweep. Totty's suffering is ignored by the philanthropists, who are so concerned with the welfare of black slaves in America that they fail to notice that they have simply replaced their own slavery with child labour.

Street children Homeless children living on the street

Street children are poor or homeless children who live on the streets of a city, town, or village. Homeless youth are often called street kids or street child; the definition of street children is contested, but many practitioners and policymakers use UNICEF's concept of boys and girls, aged under 18 years, for whom "the street" has become home and/or their source of livelihood, and who are inadequately protected or supervised.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Chimney sweep person who cleans chimneys

A chimney sweep is a person who clears ash and soot from chimneys. The chimney uses the pressure difference caused by a hot column of gas to create a draught and draw air over the hot coals or wood enabling continued combustion. Chimneys may be straight or contain many changes of direction. During normal operation, a layer of creosote builds up on the inside of the chimney, restricting the flow. The creosote can also catch fire, setting the chimney and the building alight. The chimney must be swept to remove the soot. This was done by the master sweep.

Publication history

Tit for Tat was first published in its entirety by Garret & Co. in 1856, but unlike[ citation needed ] other anti-Tom novels such as Aunt Phillis's Cabin or The Planter's Northern Bride , the novel has not been republished in the modern day.

<i>Aunt Philliss Cabin</i> book by Mary Eastman

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.

<i>The Planters Northern Bride</i> book by Caroline Lee Hentz

The Planter's Northern Bride is an 1854 novel written by Caroline Lee Hentz, in response to the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852.

Related Research Articles

Uncle Tom Title character of Uncle Toms Cabin

Uncle Tom is the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. The term "Uncle Tom" is also used as a derogatory epithet for an exceedingly subservient person, particularly when that person is aware of their own lower-class status based on race. The use of the epithet is the result of later works derived from the original novel.

<i>Uncle Toms Cabin</i> 1852 anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the U.S. and is said to have "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War".

<i>Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp</i> novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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 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.

Tom show

Tom show is a general term for any play or musical based on the 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The novel attempts to depict the harsh reality of slavery. Due to the weak copyright laws at the time, a number of unauthorized plays based on the novel were staged for decades, many of them mocking the novel's strong characters and social message, and leading to the pejorative term "Uncle Tom".

Uncle Robin, in His Cabin in Virginia, and Tom Without One in Boston is an 1853 novel written by J.W. Page and released by J. W. Randolph Publishers of Richmond, Virginia.

Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South is an 1853 plantation fiction novel by Martha Haines Butt.

<i>Little Eva: The Flower of the South</i> 19th century childrens novel by Philip J. Cozans

Little Eva: The Flower of the South is an Anti-Tom children's book by American writer Philip J. Cozans. Its publication date is unknown, although scholars have made some estimations. The book is about Little Eva, the daughter of a wealthy Alabama planter. She is kind toward slaves and teaches them how to read. On her ninth birthday, Little Eva nearly drowns, but she is rescued by a slave named Sam. Although her parents free Sam, he remains with the family because he loves them.

White Acre vs. Black Acre is an 1856 plantation fiction novel written by William M. Burwell.

<i>The Black Gauntlet</i>

The Black Gauntlet: A Tale of Plantation Life in South Carolina is an anti-Tom novel written in 1860 by Mary Howard Schoolcraft, published under her married name of Mrs. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft.

Life at the South; or, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" As It Is is an 1852 plantation fiction novel written by William L.G. Smith.

The North and the South; or, Slavery and Its Contrasts is an 1852 plantation fiction novel by Caroline Rush, and among the first examples of the genre, alongside others such as Aunt Phillis's Cabin by Mary Henderson Eastman and Life at the South; or, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" As It Is by W.L.G. Smith, both of which were also released in 1852.

Frank Freeman's Barber Shop is an 1852 plantation fiction novel written by Baynard Rush Hall.

<i>The Cabin and Parlor; or, Slaves and Masters</i> book by Charles Jacobs Peterson

The Cabin and Parlor; or, Slaves and Masters is an 1852 novel by Charles Jacobs Peterson, writing under the pseudonym J. Thornton Randolph.

The Lofty and the Lowly, or Good in All and None All Good is a novel by Maria Jane McIntosh published by D. Appleton & Company in 1853. It was one of many anti-Tom novels published in response to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. The story is set is Georgia and tells of a plantation owner's efforts to avoid bankruptcy with the help of his loyal slave Daddy Cato. Their efforts are challenged by a northern usurer and devious northern capitalists. The book sold well across the United States upon release, making it one of the most successful anti-Tom novels in the middle 19th century.

<i>Mr. Frank, the Underground Mail-Agent</i> book by anonymus

Mr. Frank, the Underground Mail-Agent is an 1853 parody novel written by an unknown author credited as "Vidi".

Liberia; or, Mr. Peyton's Experiments is an 1853 novel by Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb", who wrote the novel under the name of Sara J. Hale.

<i>Ellen; or, The Fanatics Daughter</i>

Ellen; or, The Fanatic's Daughter is an 1860 plantation fiction novel written by Mrs. V.G. Cowdin.


  1. Slave Narratives and Uncle Tom's Cabin Africans in America, PBS, accessed June 22, 2009