Item description for Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe...
Overview When first published, Uncle Tom's Cabin brought with its huge success enormous attention to the depravity of slavery. Many people, however, questioned the basis of truth of the novel. In response, Ms. Stowe gathered her research materials and published them in this now rare book.
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More About Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe, a prolific writer best remembered today for"Uncle Tom's Cabin, "was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on June 14, 1811, into a prominent New England family. Her father, Lyman Beecher, was a well-known Congregational minister, and her brother Henry Ward Beecher became a distinguished preacher, orator, and lecturer. Like all the Beechers she grew up with a strong sense of wanting to improve humanity. At the age of thirteen Harriet Beecher enrolled in the Hartford Female Seminary and subsequently taught there until 1832, when the family moved to Cincinnati. In Ohio she was an instructor at a school founded by her elder sister Catharine, and she soon began publishing short stories in the"Western Monthly Magazine." Four years later, in 1836, Harriet Beecher married Calvin Stowe, a respected biblical scholar and theologian by whom she had seven children. In order to supplement the family's meager income she continued writing."The Mayflower, " her first collection of stories and sketches, appeared in 1843. During this period abolitionist conflicts rocked Cincinnati, and Mrs. Stowe witnessed firsthand the misery of slaves living just across the Ohio River in Kentucky. But not until the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was she inspired to write about their plight. After the family resettled in Brunswick, Maine, when Mr. Stowe was hired as a professor at Bowdoin College, she began working on a novel that would expose the evils of slavery. First serialized in the"National Era, "an abolitionist paper, in forty weekly installments between June 5, 1851, and April 1, 1852, and published as a book on March 20, 1852, "Uncle Tom's Cabin"""was an enormous success. Tolstoy deemed it a great work of literature 'flowing from love of God and man, ' and within a year the book had sold more than 300,000 copies. When"Uncle Tom's Cabin"appeared in Great Britain Queen Victoria sent Mrs. Stowe a note of gratitude, and enthusiastic crowds greeted the author in London on her first trip abroad in 1853. In an attempt to silence the many critics at home who denounced the work as vicious propaganda, Mrs. Stowe brought out"A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin"in 1853, which contained documentary evidence substantiating the graphic picture of slavery she had drawn."Dred"(1856), a second antislavery novel, did not enjoy the acclaim of"Uncle Tom's Cabin, "yet the author had already stirred the conscience of the nation and the world, fueling sentiments that would ignite the Civil War. When Abraham Lincoln met her at the White House in 1862 he allegedly remarked: 'So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!' In subsequent novels Stowe shifted her attention away from the issue of slavery. Beginning with"The Minister's Wooing"(1859), and continuing withT"he Pearl of Orr's Island"(1862), "Oldtown Folks" (1869), and"Poganuc People"(1878), she presented a perceptive and realistic chronicle of colonial New England, focusing especially on the theological warfare that underscored Puritan life. In a second and less popular series of novels "My Wife and I"(1871), "Pink and White Tyranny"(1871), and"We and Our Neighbors"(1875) she depicted the mores of post-Civil War America. Mrs. Stowe did enjoy success, however, with the controversial"Lady Byron Vindicated"(1870), a bold defense of her friend Anne, Lady Byron, that scandalously revealed Lord Byron's moral delinquency. In addition she became a regular contributor to the"Atlantic Monthly," which published many of the memorable short stories later collected in"Oldtown Fireside Stories"(1872) and"Sam Lawson's Oldtown Fireside Stories"(1881). Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote little during the last years of her life. She died in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 1, 1896. Perhaps Mrs. Stowe's achievement was best summed up by abolitionist Frederick Douglass who said: "Hers was the word for the hour."
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in 1811 and died in 1896.
Harriet Beecher Stowe has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin?
Amazing Documentation of an Amazing Story Sep 19, 2006
Upon publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin, HB Stowe was attacked immediately by pro-slavery writers. Her work was dismissed as fiction, an abolitionist's distorted view, and totally representing slavery in the South. Mrs. Stowe responded by collecting and expanding her factual documentation. She started to write a 25-page pamphlet, to be added as an appendix to the next edition of Cabin. But the work consumed her, as she confronted the stories of many escaped slaves, newspaper articles, court testimony, and even the text of state laws. The defense project grew to over 500 pages, and is a major work in its own right.
Frederick Douglas called it a major contribution to the war against slaveholders: "...for the 'Key' not only proves the correctness of every essential part of Uncle Tom's Cabin, but proves more and worse things against themurderous system than are alleged in that great book."
Historians and history teachers must have this book, as a reference and as an experience. Anyone who strives to understand the burning issues that ignited the War between the States needs this book. I recommend it.
A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin ebook Oct 4, 2005
If you're teaching or studying black history, the Inkling ebook edition of A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (ISBN: B000BGQ9E4) is a great bargain. You get an exact facsimile of the classic 1853 edition with the original small type enlarged to fit 8.5x11 inch pages for easier reading and printing.
Best of all, despite this site's boilerplate remarks about "most publishers do not allow e-books to be printed" none of the restrictive digital rights management is turned on. You can print and copy all the pages you like.
A lot of people make fun of Uncle Tom's Cabin, make fun of it's mid-nineenth century literary style and neglecting the enormous impact it has had. Here's what George Orwell, the author of two literary classics, Animal Farm and 1984, said about Uncle Tom's Cabin:
"A type of book which we hardly seem to produce in these days, but which flowered with great richness in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is what Chesterton called the "good bad book": that is, the kind of book that has no literary pretensions but which remains readable when more serious productions have perished....
Perhaps the supreme example of the "good bad" book is Uncle Tom's Cabin. It is an unintentionally ludicrous book, full of preposterous melodramatic incidents; it is also deeply moving and essentially true; it is hard to say which quality outweighs the other. But Uncle Tom's Cabin, after all, is trying to be serious and to deal with the real world.... And by the same token I would back Uncle Tom's Cabin to outlive the complete works of Virginia Woolf or George Moore, though I know of no strictly literary test which would show where the superiority lies."
Review Jul 3, 2001
My reason for reading this book was to understand why some Blacks today are called 'Uncle Toms'. Once I began the book, I realized that I would have to stop looking at the book frrom the perspective of a Black woman in the year 2001. That the author was not a slave or a Black is very obvious, and her own misconceptions about Blacks are very disturbing. But she is, after all, writing from her the only point of view she knew. I found the book to be very engrossing, easy to read and also interesting enough to keep me from flipping to the end.
"it was a good book and I could read it over and over again. Apr 21, 1999
"Uncle Tom's Cabin was a very good book. I wouldn't encourage younger people like 4th and 5th graders to read it, but I think everyone needs to read it by the time they graduate from school."