Harriet Beecher was the seventh child of a famous Protestant preacher, Henry Ward Beecher. She worked as a teacher, beginning in her teens, and wrote a geography for children when she was 21. Three years later, she married a widower, Calvin Stowe, with whom she had seven children. To help support the family, Stowe wrote articles for local and religious periodicals, as well as poems, travel books, biographical sketches, and children's books. However, she is primarily known for the first of her 10 novels for adults, the controversial UNCLE TOM'S CABIN (1852), which focused public interest on the issue of slavery. Following its publication, shebecame a celebrity, speaking against slavery both in America and Europe. Many of Stowe's other works are negligible in terms of literary value, but she was an early and effective realist whose descriptions of social customs and settings are often accurate and vivid, and whose use of local dialect anticipated works like Twain's HUCKLEBERRY FINN by 30 years. Stowe died at the age of 85, in Hartford Connecticut.
"In 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', the most beautiful passage is perhaps the one in which the poor slave, knowing he must die, and sitting for the last time with his wife, remembers the words, '...May I but safely reach my home,/My God, my heaven, my all.' This is far from theology, simply a fact, that the poorest little woodcutter or peasant...can have moments of emotion and inspiration which give him a feeling of an eternal home to which he is near."
From the Publisher
Harriet Beecher Stowe's powerful but sentimental and stereotyped anti-slavery novel, published in 1852, was an inspiration to the abolitionist cause.