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Uncle Tom's Cabin (1964)

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,289183308 (3.78)481
Uncle Toms Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War, according to Will Kaufman. Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters'both fellow slaves and slave owners'revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings. Uncle Toms Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century, and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called the most popular novel of our day. One million copies of the book were sold in Great Britain. The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, So this is the little lady who started this great war. The quote is apocryphal; it did not appear in print until 1896, and it has been argued that The long-term durability of Lincolns greeting as an anecdote in literary studies and Stowe scholarship can perhaps be explained in part by the desire among many contemporary intellectuals ... to affirm the role of literature as an agent of social change. The book, and the plays it inspired, also helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people, many of which endure to this day. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned mammy; the pickaninny stereotype of black children; and the Uncle Tom, or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Toms Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a vital antislavery tool.… (more)
  1. 21
    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs (LisaMaria_C)
    LisaMaria_C: This is the slave narrative of Harriet Jacobs and shares with Stowe a Christian sensibility and emphasis on how slavery destroys a slaves moral agency.
  2. 00
    Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (Julie_in_the_Library)
  3. 12
    The Clansman by Thomas Dixon (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Dixon himself called The Clansman a sequel to Uncle Tom. In many ways its antithesis. Both controversial. Both worth examining for historical context more so than literary value.
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» See also 481 mentions

English (163)  Spanish (6)  German (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
I can't read anymore. Vile vile humans. I am just sick. This is the second time I have tried reading it and I am in tears. The subject matter is too hard to bear reading so I have stopped. ( )
  debbie13410 | Oct 22, 2022 |
A classic first published in 1852 - This book has been on my bucket list for years now. Finally...check! My copy: UNCLE TOM’S CABIN: LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY (possibly 1884-1885 edition), by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This is a little book, no more than 4” wide by 7” long, with very tiny print. I found it on eBay, purchased from stampinsisters for $10.00. It is badly worn and missing the copyright page. On the inside cover page is written:
“6th Prize Jr. 3rd Class, Fred Cummings, U.S.S.
No. 10th 16. S.N. & D. [signed] E. Garrett, Teacher,
Dec. 1885”.
I would gladly mail this copy to any known family members of this Fred Cummings.

According to the author, Harriet Beecher Stowe, this story is based on a collection of true life stories turned into a novel that were either witnessed by the author, herself, or told to her by others who either went through similar experiences when enslaved or told by someone who had knowledge of certain events and relayed it to the author.

I rated this book 4 stars out of 5, just above an average read, for these reasons: 1) The author constantly jumped from you reading a good story, to her interrupting with analogies and explanations and sermons. I found that strange and a bit annoying. 2) I found that she was very pretentious in her writing of those analogies, explanations and sermons…meaning, she tried too hard to write so uppity, that at times, I couldn’t understand what the heck she was writing. 3) Some parts of the slave dialog were hard to get through. Thankfully, they weren’t very long conversations.

That being said, this story did draw me into the characters and their emotional trauma experienced by being enslaved. She really did capture the essence of slavery, of a human race that owned absolutely nothing and experienced complete helplessness over every little aspect of their lives. Even if the slave had a good life, it could turn on a dime when the plantation owner had to pay in on a debt or upon a sudden death. They would then find themselves back on the auction block and praying and begging not to be separated from their children, or to be sold to a good master and not be sent down the river to the cotton plantations, which had the worst reputation for having brutal owners. The author touched on many things emotionally that I never have, and never would have, even thought about before on my own.

She portrayed different personalities handling brutal plantation owners in different ways. On the one hand, there was Uncle Tom, who was an upmost Christian and never wavered or compromised his belief in praying for and showing love and compassion even through his turmoil. He took a beating because he refused to beat another slave. Then, there was Sam Harris, who escaped with his family, and would die and fight before letting them harm his family. They were both right! In the end, Uncle Tom's cabin was symbolic for the love and compassion he spread among his people and among everyone else he encountered, whether a Christian or not. God used him to bring others to the Lord.

We learned a lot about slavery when I was in high school back in the 1980’s, but we never really touched on the “emotional” aspect of it, and I wish we had. ( )
  MissyIvey | Sep 20, 2022 |
This great piece of American literature, was first published in 1859. Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, herself an abolitionist, wrote this important novel as a stand against slavery, not just in America, but worldwide.

This story is gritty, disturbing and well presented. Stowe doesn't mince her words in the graphic representations of the horrific torturous acts committed against the unfortunate.

A masterpiece. ( )
  Steven1958 | Sep 5, 2022 |
4/26/22
  laplantelibrary | Apr 26, 2022 |
What a powerful read. This book should be required reading in High School. I only wish I had read it sooner. Time after time I had to pause to reread so many excerpts that just fully gripped my heart and soul; many of which I had to share with my wife. This will by no means be the last time I read Uncle Tom's Cabin. ( )
  282Mikado | Apr 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (146 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stowe, Harriet Beecherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cattaneo, PieroIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claybaugh, AmandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Covarrubias, MiguelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Curtis, Christopher PaulForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, AnnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, GeorgeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herzfelde, WielandAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, EastmanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsson, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynn, Kenneth S.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mackey, William, Jr.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Missaglia, ElisabettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noto Soeroto, TrisnatiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelc, AntoninIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riel, Ton vanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SaniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, Philip Van DorenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, Philip Van DorenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wayboer, Jos.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining-parlor, in the town of P_______, in Kentucky.
Quotations
"Your heart is better than your head, in this case, John," said the wife, laying her little white hand on his. "Could I ever have loved you, had I not known you better than you know yourself?"
Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright to us dies to us. There is a most busy and important round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, visiting, buying, selling, talking, reading, and all that makes up what is commonly called living, yet to be gone through; and this yet remained to Augustine.
"Well," said St. Clare, "suppose that something should bring down the price of cotton once and forever, and make the whole slave property a drug in the market, don't you think we should soon have another version of the Scripture doctrine? What a flood of light would pour into the church, all at once, and how immediately it would be discovered that everything in the Bible and reason went the other way!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Young Folks' Edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin has different text and ~92 pages; please do not combine with the main work.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Uncle Toms Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War, according to Will Kaufman. Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters'both fellow slaves and slave owners'revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings. Uncle Toms Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century, and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called the most popular novel of our day. One million copies of the book were sold in Great Britain. The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, So this is the little lady who started this great war. The quote is apocryphal; it did not appear in print until 1896, and it has been argued that The long-term durability of Lincolns greeting as an anecdote in literary studies and Stowe scholarship can perhaps be explained in part by the desire among many contemporary intellectuals ... to affirm the role of literature as an agent of social change. The book, and the plays it inspired, also helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people, many of which endure to this day. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned mammy; the pickaninny stereotype of black children; and the Uncle Tom, or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Toms Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a vital antislavery tool.

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