Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ground breaking story follows a number of characters through their vastly different journeys and disparate points of view. Whether on the road to freedom travelling the Underground Railroad, or remaining in captivity, Stowe’s narrative exposed the bleak and harrowing nature of slavery to her contemporary society. The story’s central character Uncle Tom, whose affectionate owners are forced to sell him when they fall on hard times, finds himself being treated appallingly by his new slave-master, which tests his resolve and challenges his faith.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is credited with helping to fuel the abolitionist cause in the decades before the American Civil War and it shaped many of the other slave narratives of the era, such as Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs. Uncle Tom’s Cabin became one of the best-selling novels of the 19th century, and helped to establish the genre of sentimental fiction. It is estimated that over three million people have attended a stage play or musical adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the story has also been adapted for the screen, most recently into a television movie starring Samuel L. Jackson in 1987.
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From Library Staff
According to a librarian interviewed for the 1882 New York Times article, "The most remarkable book of fiction of this age is Uncle Tom's Cabin. That is a book that seems to gain rather than lose in popularity. Each successive generation of readers reads it with unabated interest."
Historical Fiction/Primary Source - Originally published in 1852, many historians (and key historical figures at the time, including President Lincoln) consider this book the key anti-slavery work of the time, and one that helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War. Lexile 1050L.
Historical Fiction - Published in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold over 300,000 copies in its 1st year and mobilized anti-slavery sentiment on a level previously unseen. President Lincoln considered this title a tipping point in the Abolitionist Debates.
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But there, on the bed, lay her slumbering boy, his long curs falling negligently around his unconscious face, his rosy mouth half open, his little fat hands thrown out over the bed-clothes, and a smile spread like a sunbeam over his whole face. "Poor boy! poor fellow!" said Eliza; "they have sold you! but your mother will save you yet!"
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