Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, Nov 18, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
The author of Hawthorne in Concord “brings [Stowe] to life in all her glory, in a book at once so dramatic and so subtle that it rivals the best fiction” (Debby Applegate, author of The Most Famous Man in America).
 
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin forced an ambivalent North to confront the atrocities of slavery, yet it was just one of many accomplishments of the Beechers, the most eminent American family of the nineteenth century.
 
Historian Philip McFarland follows the Beecher clan to the boomtown of Cincinnati, where Harriet’s glimpses of slavery across the Kentucky border moved her to pen Uncle Tom’s Cabin. We meet Harriet’s loves: her father Lyman, her husband Calvin, and her brother Henry, the most famous preacher of his time. As McFarland leads us through Harriet’s ever-changing world, he traces the arc of her literary career from her hard-scrabble beginnings to her ascendancy as the most renowned author of her day.
 
Through the portrait of a defining American family, Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe opens into an unforgettable rendering of mid-nineteenth century America in the midst of unprecedented social and demographic explosions. To this day, Uncle Tom’s Cabin reverberates as a crucial document in Western culture.
 
“Often dismissed even by her admirers as a pious faculty wife who just happened to write the book of the century, Harriet Beecher Stowe emerges in Philip McFarland’s biography in all her complexity and genius.” —Charles Calhoun, author of Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life and The Gilded Age
 

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Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe

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McFarland's (Hawthorne in Concord) complex biography culls material mainly from three sources: Stowe's own Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe (1889), Robert Forrest Wilson's Crusader in Crinoline: The Life ... Read full review

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Contents

Westward Bound
1
Cincinnati
9
Professor Stowe
21
Early Married Life
30
Agonies
41
Call to Bowdoin
52
Politics
61
Uncle Toms Cabin
72
A Vindication
175
Aftermath
185
The Beechers
195
Religion
204
Brooklyn
213
Changing America
223
My Wife and I
233
Scandal
243

Reception
81
Dark Places
89
To England
99
Culture
110
Looking Back
119
Return to Europe
129
Heartbreak
138
The Ministers Wooing
147
Civil War
155
Postbellum
165
Inside the Home
252
Trial
261
Late Years
272
Endings
279
NOTES
291
WORKS CITED
313
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
319
INDEX
320
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

"So this is the little woman who wrote the book that made this big war!" Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said when he met the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin on the eve of the Emancipation Proclamation. Harriet Beecher Stowe's groundbreaking novel forced an ambivalent North to confront the atrocities of slavery, yet it was just one of many accomplishments of the Beechers, the most eminent American family of the nineteenth century. 

Historian Philip McFarland follows the Beecher clan to the boomtown of Cincinnati, where Harriet's glimpses of slavery across the Kentucky border moved her to pen Uncle Tom's Cabin. We meet Harriet's loves: her father Lyman, her husband Calvin, and her brother Henry, the most famous preacher of his time. As McFarland leads us through Harriet's ever-changing world, he traces the arc of her literary career from her hard-scrabble beginnings to her ascendancy as the most renowned author of her day.

Through the portrait of a defining American family, Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe opens into an unforgettable rendering of mid-nineteenth century America in the midst of unprecedented social and demographic explosions. To this day, Uncle Tom's Cabin reverberates as a crucial document in Western culture.

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