Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Mid-Nineteenth Century United States

Pen and Conscience


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About the Book

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel was the critical event of literature and race relations in nineteenth century America. No other event had such an impact upon the slavery issue. While Mrs. Stowe wrote the weekly installments (a long serial in an antislavery paper) of Uncle Tom’s Cabin she was living in genteel poverty, the harassed mother of six married to a scholarly but impractical man. A devoted mother who identified with the slave mother, a devout Christian, a skilled and sensitive writer, Stowe was in fact even late in joining the antislavery movement. The historical and social contexts of the novel’s authorship, issuance, and reception are fully explored; characters, plot, sources and critics are examined as well.

About the Author(s)

The late Moira Davison Reynolds, a retired biochemist, wrote about women who made significant contributions to United States culture, including several books about activists, artists, authors and scientists. She lived in Marquette, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Moira D. Reynolds
Format: softcover (5.5 x 8.5)
Pages: 184
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, 3 maps, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1985]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7286-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     viii
Preface and Acknowledgments     ix

1. Written in the Book of Fate     1
2. A Noble Work     13
3. A Nation’s Shame     43
4. A House Divided     69
5. The Exploited Sex     95
6. Harriet’s Era     110
7. Before and After Slavery     128
8. Retrospect     150

Selected Bibliography
Books     167
Articles, Introductions, and Afterwords     171
Index     173

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Choice; “Reynolds…has produced an informative and interesting study of the famous novel, its author, the antislavery movement, and the social history of the period”—The Progressive; “work is scholarly in form”—American Literature.