HARRIET BEECHER STOWE (1811-1896)
The impact created in 1852 by the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin of Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe made her the most widely known American woman writer of the 19th century. Harriet Beecher Stowe's personality and her work are mint products of her culture. They represent a special combination of rigid Calvinist discipline (fight against it though she tried), sentimental weakness for the romanticism of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, and a crusading sense of social and political responsibility. In 1834 she began writing for the Western Monthly Magazine and was awarded a $50 prize for her tale "A New England Sketch." Her writing during the next 16 years was to be sketchy indeed, for on Jan. 6, 1836, she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor in the Lane Seminary, and they had seven children during a period of financial hardship. At the same time she did, however, have the opportunity to visit the South, and she observed with particular attention the operation of the slave system there. In 1850 Calvin Stowe was called to a chair at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where they had their last child. She then set about writing Uncle Tom's Cabin, which first appeared in serial form in 1851-1852 in the National Era, a Washington, D.C., antislavery newspaper. The book was published in 1852 in a two-volume edition by the house of John P. Jewett and sold 300,000 copies in its first year--10,000 in the first week. During the first 5 years of its publication, the book sold half a million copies in America alone. The later years of her life were spent, in large part, in Florida, where she and her husband tried, with only moderate success, to manage the income from her literary activities.
Adapted from: "Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe." Encyclopedia of World Biography Online, Gale, 1998.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. The Two Altars, or, Two Pictures in One: By Harriet Beecher Stowe. [J. P. Jewett], [c1852].
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Agnes of Sorrento: By Harriet Beecher Stowe …. Ticknor and Fields, 1862.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. The Minister's Wooing: By Harriet Beecher Stowe. Derby and Jackson, 1859.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Betty's Bright Idea: Also, Deacon Pitkin's Farm, and the First Christmas of New England: By Harriet Beecher Stowe …. J. B. Ford, 1876.