Putnam's Monthly Magazine
Unsigned Review
New York: November 1853


   . . . —It is not easy to infer from the title of The Mud Cabin, that the work so named, and written by WARREN ISHAM, is a treatise on the character and tendency of British institutions, illustrated by incidents of personal adventure in England. But such it is, and the title is simply meant to suggest a contrast to "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which, in one way or another, gives a tone to our current literature. The author travelled for eighteen months in Great Britain, observing the condition of the people, and he represents it to be degraded and unhappy in the extreme. But he writes throughout like one who has a case to prove, and not like an impartial inquirer. We should have more confidence in his facts if they were not so obviously designed to establish a foregone conclusion.

  His book is a loud yell from first to last against everything English, and we are forced to the conclusion that Mr. Isham went abroad knowing as little of the geography, history, people and institutions of his own country as it seems he knew of those of England. The style of the Mud Cabin is viciously vulgar, and turgid to the verge of absurdity, whenever he attempts to be high strung and romantic. Our acquaintance with bad books is by no means limited, but we do not remember having read anything comparable with Mr. Isham's attempt to describe a storm at sea. . . .