Supplement Edition: Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly

Supplement Edition: Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly

ISBN: 0942208544

ISBN 13: 9780942208542

Publication Date: 2011

Publisher: Bandanna Books

Pages: 412

Format: Paperback

Authors: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sasha Newborn

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Uncle Tom's Cabin was the first international bestseller that exceeded the capacity of the
new steam-driven presses, with adaptations running in three London
theaters. It was written by a busy wife and mother who was best known
as a writer of Christmas annuals. It is not a perfect book, as critics
have pointed out, but the simple story of the life of slaves brought into
focus the question of whether the States united only by a written constitution
could actually put into practice the high ideals voiced in that
When Harriet Beecher Stowe was introduced to Abraham Lincoln,
the President is said to have remarked, “So this is the little
woman who wrote the book that made this big war.” Without putting
herself forward, as had her brother Edward and others of the Beecher
clan, as active in the abolitionist debate, Harriet directed her attention
to the realities of slave life. Her older sister Catharine Beecher
assisted with home care, but the two of them had earlier collaborated
on some of Catharine’s forward-looking educational writings.
Her brother Charles had spent some time in Louisiana, and reported
in vivid detail on the thriving slave market buying and selling
human beings, the peculiar relationships of slaves who were actually
sons and daughters of the white owners, the trust and mistrust, incongruities
of conduct.
Harriet and her husband Calvin Stowe lived in Cincinnati, a vital
center at that time in the development of the Ohio Valley. Calvin was
a professor at Lane Seminary, where Harriet’s father, Lyman Beecher
Some of the characters in the book were based on real people,
though the circumstances were fitted to the narrative. HBS spent little
time across the Ohio in slave territory, though her home in Cincinnati
was a thriving trade center, in which part of the local economy
depended on slave labor.
The enormous popularity of the book gave Harriet a platform for
speaking out. She was feted in England, where slavery had been abolished
throughout the British Empire twenty years before, even meeting
discreetly with Queen Victoria.
Comments and reviews of the book poured forth from Longfellow,
George Sand, she became friends of the Brownings, George Eliot, Lady
Byron, and other notables. She used her celebrity to plunge into the
work of social change; one effective act was to address the women of
Britain for solidarity in the struggle.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin continues to speak to the humanity in all of
us, reminding us of what we can be, or, if we lapse from our best selves,
of what we might become.
This supplement edition has 30 pages of additional background materials, including a glossary.

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