Uncle Tom's Cabin Or, Life among the Lowly

ISBN-10: 0393933997

ISBN-13: 9780393933994

Edition: 2nd 2009

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Description: In the nineteenth century, Uncle Tom’s Cabin sold more copies than any book in the world except the Bible. Upon publication, it was quickly translated into thirty-seven languages and has never gone out of print. It remains a controversial and complex text that, along with David Walker’s Appeal , Henry David Thoreau’s Walden , W. E. B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk , and Helena María Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus , among others, stands out as an important text in the progressive struggle for social justice in the United States. This Second Edition is based on the original 1852 book edition, published in two volumes by John P. Jewett and Company, Boston, and includes all original illustrations. The text is accompanied by a preface and detailed explanatory annotations to assist the reader with obscure historical terms and biblical allusions. “Backgrounds and Contexts” includes a wealth of historical documents addressing the issues of slavery and abolitionism. New visuals in the Second Edition include a selection of abolition posters and records of torture. Also newly included is J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur’s eyewitness account of slavery as a visitor to the United States, a selection from David Walker’s Appeal , and Henrietta King’s autobiographical account of the horror of slavery. “Criticism” presents a balanced view of the ongoing controversy over Uncle Tom’s Cabin in fifteen reviews and scholarly interpretations spanning more than 150 years of writing about the novel. Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jane P. Tompkins, and Susan M. Ryan, among others, admire Uncle Tom’s Cabin for its social vision and artistry, while James Baldwin and Sophia Cantave, among others, argue that the book’s racism continues to promote misperceptions and that its prominence does ongoing damage. A Chronology of Stowe’s life and work, a Brief Timeline of Slavery in America, and an updated Selected Bibliography are also included.

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Book details

Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/10/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 640
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.562
Language: English

Harriet Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, one of nine children of the distinguished Congregational minister and stern Calvinist, Lyman Beecher. Of her six brothers, five became ministers, one of whom, Henry Ward Beecher, was considered the finest pulpit orator of his day. In 1832 Harriet Beecher went with her family to Cincinnati, Ohio. There she taught in her sister's school and began publishing sketches and stories. In 1836 she married the Reverend Calvin E. Stowe, one of her father's assistants at the Lane Theological Seminary and a strong antislavery advocate. They lived in Cincinnati for 18 years, and six of her children were born there. The Stowes moved to Brunswick, Maine, in 1850, when Calvin Stowe became a professor at Bowdoin College. Long active in abolition causes and knowledgeable about the atrocities of slavery both from her reading and her years in Cincinnati, with its close proximity to the South, Stowe was finally impelled to take action with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. By her own account, the idea of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) first came to her in a vision while she was sitting in church. Returning home, she sat down and wrote out the scene describing the death of Uncle Tom and was so inspired that she continued to write on scraps of grocer's brown paper after her own supply of writing paper gave out. She then wrote the book's earlier chapters. Serialized first in the National Era (1851--52), an important abolitionist journal with national circulation, Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in book form in March 1852. It was an immediate international bestseller; 10,000 copies were sold in less than a week, 300,000 within a year, and 3 million before the start of the Civil War. Family legend tells of President Abraham Lincoln (see Vol. 3) saying to Stowe when he met her in 1862: "So this is the little lady who made this big war?" Whether he did say it or not, we will never know, since Stowe left no written record of her interview with the president. But he would have been justified in saying it. Certainly, no other single book, apart from the Bible, has ever had any greater social impact on the United States, and for many years its enormous historical interest prevented many from seeing the book's genuine, if not always consistent, literary merit. The fame of the novel has also unfortunately overshadowed the fiction that Stowe wrote about her native New England: The Minister's Wooing (1859), Oldtown Folks (1869), Poganuc People (1878), and The Pearl of Orr's Island (1862), the novel that, according to Sarah Orne Jewett, began the local-color movement in New England. Here Stowe was writing about the world and its people closest and dearest to her, recording their customs, their legends, and their speech. As she said of one of these novels, "It is more to me than a story. It is my resume of the whole spirit and body of New England."

A Note on the Text
The Text of Uncle Tom's Cabin
First-edition title page
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Backgrounds and Contexts
Map: The Eastern United States in the Antebellum Period
Slave Sale Announcements
Escaped Slave Advertisements
Abolition Posters
Visual Records of Torture
J. Hector St. John de Cr�vecoeur • [A Visitor's Description of Slavery's Atrocity]
David Walker • [from Appeal, In Four Articles]
Josiah Henson • Life of Josiah Henson
Solomon Northup • A Slave Auction Described by a Slave, 1841
Henrietta King • [A Freeperson's Memory of Slavery's Horror]
Harriet Jacobs • The Trials of Girlhood
William Wells Brown • Another Kidnapping, 1844
• The Flight of Ellen and William Craft, 1849
Harriet Beecher Stowe • Letter to the Abolitionist Eliza Cabot Follen
• From A Key to "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Uncle Tom
The Execution of Justice
• Appeal to the Women of the Free States
Martin Delany • from Blake; or, The Huts of America
George M. Frederickson • Uncle Tom and the Anglo-Saxons: Romantic Racialism in the North
George Cruikshank • Illustration: Tom reading his Bible
• Illustration: The poor bleeding heart
• Illustration: Emmeline about to be sold to the highest bidder
Thomas F. Gosset • Anti-Uncle Tom Literature
Mary C. Henderson • [Tom Shows]
Tom-Show Poster
Nineteenth-Century Reviews and Reception
George Sand • Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin
William G. Allen • [About Uncle Tom's Cabin]
Ethiop • Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin
George F. Holmes • Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin
Anonymous • Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin
Charles Dudley Warner • [Uncle Tom's Cabin a Half Century Later]
Frances Ellen Watkins [Harper] • Eliza Harris
Helen Gray Cone • [Harriet Beecher Stowe and American Women Writers]
Paul Laurence Dunbar • Harriet Beecher Stowe
G. Grant Williams • Reminiscence of the Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Her Family
Modern Critical Views
James Baldwin • Everybody's Protest Novel
Jane P. Tompkins • Sentimental Power: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Politics of Literary History
Robert S. Levine • Uncle Tom's Cabin in Frederick Douglass' Paper: An Analysis of Reception
Sophia Cantave • Who Gets to Create the Lasting Images? The Problem of Black Representation in Uncle Tom's Cabin
Susan M. Ryan • Charity Begins at Home: Stowe's Antislavery Novels and the Forms of Benevolent Citizenship
Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Chronology
A Brief Timeline of Slavery in America
Selected Bibliography
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