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Stowe in Her Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of Her Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates

Stowe in Her Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of Her Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates

by Susan Belasco (Editor)


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One of the first celebrity authors, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) became famous almost overnight when Uncle Tom’s Cabin—which sold more than 300,000 copies in its first year of publication—appeared in 1852. Known by virtually all famous writers in the United States and many in England and regarded by many women writers as a role model because of her influence in the literary marketplace, Stowe herself was the subject of many books, articles, essays, and poems during her lifetime.

This volume brings together for the first time a range of primary materials about Stowe’s private and public life written by family members, friends, and fellow writers who knew or were influenced by her before and after Uncle Tom’s Cabin catapulted her to fame. Included are periodical articles by Fanny Fern and Charles Dudley Warner; biographical essays by Sarah Josepha Hale and Rose Terry Cooke; letters by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Harriet Jacobs; recollections by Frederick Douglass, Annie Adams Fields, Isabella Beecher Hooker, and Charles Beecher; and poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar and John Greenleaf Whittier. An introduction at the beginning of each essay connects it to its historical and cultural context, explanatory notes provide information about people and places, and the book includes a detailed introduction and a chronology of Stowe’s life. 

The thirty-eight recollections gathered in Stowe in Her Own Time form a biographical narrative designed to provide several perspectives on the famous author, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in agreement but always perceptive. The figurewho emerges from this insightful, analytical collection is far more complex than the image she helped construct in her lifetime.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587297823
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Publication date: 06/01/2009
Series: Writers in Their Own Time
Edition description: 1
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Susan Belasco is professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She has authored, coauthored, edited, and coedited numerous books and articles on American literature, including Leaves of Grass: The Sesquicentennial Essays, The Bedford Anthology of American Literature, and Periodical Literature in Nineteenth-Century America.

Table of Contents


Introduction xi
Chronology xxxvii
Harriet Beecher Stowe, [Memories of My Childhood in Litchfield, 1811–1824]
Charles Edward Stowe and Lyman Beecher Stowe, From “The Girlhood of Harriet Beecher Stowe” (1811–1832)
Charles Edward Stowe, [Stowe in Cincinnati, 1832–1836]
Harriet Beecher Stowe, [Life in Brunswick, December 1850]
Sarah Josepha Hale, “Harriet Beecher Stowe” (1851)
Harriet Beecher Stowe, [Letter to Gamaliel Bailey on Writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1851]
Charles Dudley Warner, From “The Story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
Harriet Beecher Stowe, [Autobiographical Letter to Eliza Follen, 1852]
Fanny Fern, [Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1853]
Francis H. Underwood, [Stowe at a Performance of Uncle
Tom’s Cabin, 1853]
J. C. Derby, [Stowe and the Success of Uncle Tom’s Cabin]
Frederick Douglass, [First Meeting with Stowe, 1853]
Harriet Jacobs, [Letters about Stowe, 1852–1853]
Anonymous, [Stowe in Liverpool, 13 April 1853]
Charles Beecher, [Diary Entry for 14 April 1853]
Sarah Pugh, [Stowe in London, May 1853]
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, [Impressions of Stowe]
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, [Recollections of Stowe at Andover]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, [Stowe and the Atlantic
Monthly Dinner, 1859]
Annie Adams Fields, “Days with Mrs. Stowe”
Lydia Maria Child, [An Evening with Stowe in 1861]
Lucy Larcom, [Lunch with Stowe, August 1862]
Charles Edward Stowe and Lyman Beecher Stowe,
[Stowe and President Abraham Lincoln, 2 December 1862]
Gail Hamilton,[Impressions of Stowe in 1867]
Florine Thayer McCray, [Stowe’s Life after the Civil War]
James Parton, From “International Copyright” (1867)
Catharine Beecher, “Petty Slanders” (1869)
Rose Terry Cooke, [Stowe and the Lady Byron Controversy, 1869–1870]
Mark Twain, [Memories of a Neighbor at Nook Farm]
George Parsons Lathrop, [Stowe at Nook Farm]
Anonymous, “The Birthday Garden Party to Harriet Beecher Stowe” (1882)
Joseph H. Twichell, “Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe in Hartford” (1886)
Alexandra Gripenberg, “Harriet Beecher Stowe” (1888)
[An Exchange between Harriet Beecher Stowe and Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1893]
[Eulogies and Remembrances of Stowe at Her Death in 1896]
Isabella Beecher Hooker, A Brief Sketch of the Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe (1896)
Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Harriet Beecher Stowe” (1898)
Anonymous, “The Creator of ‘Uncle Tom’ ” (1911)

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