Parody on “Uncle Ned”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1852
Rhyme: a4b3a4b3b4b4a4b3
Meter: iambic and anapestic
Genre: parody


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1911.

Scholarly Commentary


DGR wrote his satire on Stowe's celebrated novel Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852 or perhaps 1853—in any case, not long after the novel appeared in 1852. The associated drawing must date from the same time. WMR believes DGR may not have read, or at any rate finished, the book which WMR—unlike his brother—quite admired (as one would expect). The difference in the social and political attitudes of the two men is nicely illustrated in their different opinions about Stowe's book. WMR stood firmly with Mill's view, articulated in his 1850 essay “The Negro Question”, which was a response to Carlyle's jingoist essay of 1849, “Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question”. According to WMR, DGR was amused by Carlyle's essay and as WMR wrote when he first published the parody in 1898, “in some sense” agreed with Carlyle. Both of these essays first appeared in Fraser's Magazine

The text is a parody of Stephen Foster's minstrel song “Old Uncle Ned”, first published in 1848. The drawing was probably made to accompany the poem, rather than the other way round.

Textual History: Composition

No manuscript for the poem has appeared.

Printing History

The parody and the drawing were first published together by WMR in 1898 in The Pall Mall Magazine (vol. 16, 493-494) and first collected in 1911.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 4-1852.s593.raw.xml