A few words about book's author
Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 - July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Toms Cabin (1852) was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom. It energized anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. She wrote more than 20 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and her public stands on social issues of the day.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on June 14, 1811, in Litchfield, Connecticut, to Lyman Beecher, a Calvinist preacher and activist in the antislavery movement, and Roxana Foote, a deeply religious woman who died when Stowe was four years old. Precocious and independent as a child, Stowe enrolled in the seminary run by her eldest sister, Catharine, where she received a traditionally male education. At the age of twenty-one, she moved to Cincinnati to join her father who had become the president of Lane Theological Seminary, and in 1936 she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor at the seminary and an ardent critic of slavery. The Stowes supported the Underground Railroad and housed several fugitive slaves in their home. They eventually moved to Brunswick, Maine, where Calvin taught at Bowdoin College. In 1850 congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, prohibiting assistance to fugitives. Stowe was moved to present her objections on paper, and in June 1851 the first installment of Uncle Toms Cabin a appeared in the antislavery journal National Era. The forty-year-old mother of seven children sparked a national debate and, as Abraham Lincoln is said to have noted, a war. Uncle Toms Cabin: Or, Life Among the Lowly met with mixed reviews when it appeared in book form in 1852 but soon became an international bestseller. Some critics dismissed it as abolitionist propaganda, while others hailed it as a masterpiece. The great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy praised Uncle Toms Cabin as flowing from love of God and man. Stowe presented her sources to substantiate her claims in A Key to Uncle Toms Cabin: Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which It Is Based, published in 1853. Another antislavery novel, Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, appeared in 1856 but was received with neither the notoriety nor the success of Uncle Toms Cabin. Stowe fueled another controversy in The True Story of Lady Byrons Life (1869), in which she accused the poet Lord Byron of having an incestuous love affair with his half sister, Lady Byron. She also took up the topic of domestic culture in works that include The New Housekeepers Manual (1873), written with her sister Catharine. Stowe died on July 1, 1896, at age eighty-five, in Hartford, Connecticut. Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Uncle Toms Cabin.
Good To Know
After its publication in 1852, Uncle Toms Cabin sold more copies than any other book up to that point, with the exception of the Bible. When it was becoming a sensation around the world, Uncle Toms Cabin was smuggled into Russia, in Yiddish to evade the czarist censor. Between 1853 and 1859, Stowe made several trips to Europe, and forged friendships with fellow writers George Eliot and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.