Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly

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With its gripping plot and pungent dialogue, Uncle Tom's Cabin offers readers today a passionate portrait of a nation on the verge of disunion and a surprisingly subtle examination of the relationship between race and nationalism that has always been at the heart of the American experience. This Broadview edition is based upon the first American edition of the novel and reprints its original illustrations and preface. In addition, it reprints all of the prefaces that Stowe wrote for authorized European editions ...
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Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly (Illustrated)

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Overview

With its gripping plot and pungent dialogue, Uncle Tom's Cabin offers readers today a passionate portrait of a nation on the verge of disunion and a surprisingly subtle examination of the relationship between race and nationalism that has always been at the heart of the American experience. This Broadview edition is based upon the first American edition of the novel and reprints its original illustrations and preface. In addition, it reprints all of the prefaces that Stowe wrote for authorized European editions of Uncle Tom's Cabin, offers a wide array of appendices that clarify the novel's participation in antebellum debates about domesticity, colonization, abolitionism, and the law, and includes sections on dramatic adaptations of the novel.

By calling attention to the issue of slavery, it has become part of our country's literary and historical heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

Joan D. Hedrick
"The Broadview Press edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin is a splendid addition to the scholarship on Stowe's iconic and controversial novel. Christopher Diller's superb introduction and imaginative selection of supporting materials provide a stimulating array of historical and literary contexts–and remind us of how alive this text remains."
Wilfred D. Samuels University of Utah
"Christopher Diller's edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin is, without a doubt, a major contribution. By tracing the novel's critical reception and voracious consumption by a global audience for more than 150 years, Diller breathes new life into this best-selling text. Diller makes the work accessible to a variety of audiences: scholars; students in American Studies, history, and literature courses; and general readers who want to savor the emotive power of this American classic. He insightfully maps the reasons Stowe's masterpiece continues to be anchored in the American literary tradition, and the degree to which it continues to lie at the foundation of this tradition in the 21st century. This is a masterly treatment of an American master text."
From Barnes & Noble
The narrative drive of Stowe's classic novel is often overlooked in the heat of the controversies surrounding its anti-slavery sentiments. In fact, it is a compelling adventure story with richly drawn stories & has earned a place in both literary & American history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551118062
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 632
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Christopher G. Diller is Associate Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing, Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia.
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    1. Also Known As:
      Christopher Crowfield
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 14, 1811
    2. Place of Birth:
      Litchfield, Connecticut
    1. Date of Death:
      July 1, 1896
    2. Place of Death:
      Hartford, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

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.
There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with chairs closely
approaching, seemed to be discussing some subject with great earnestness.

For convenience sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentlemen. One of the parties,
however, when critically examined, did not seem, strictly speaking, to come under
the species. He was a short, thick-set man, with coarse, commonplace features, and
that swaggering air of pretension which marks a low man who is trying to elbow his
way upward in the world. He was much over-dressed, in a gaudy vest of many
colors, a blue neckerchief, bedropped gayly with yellow spots, and arranged with a
flaunting tie, quite in keeping with the general air of the man. His hands, large and
coarse, were plentifully bedecked with rings; and he wore a heavy gold
watch-chain, with a bundle of seals of portentous size, and a great variety of colors,
attached to it,—which, in the ardor of conversation, he was in the habit of
flourishing and jingling with evident satisfaction. His conversation was in free and
easy defiance of Murray's Grammar, and was garnished at convenient intervals with
various profane expressions, which noteven the desire to be graphic in our account
shall induce us to transcribe.

His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentleman; and the
arrangements of the house, and the general air of the housekeeping, indicated easy,
and even opulent circumstances. As we before stated, the two were in the midst of
an earnest conversation.

'That is the way I should arrange the matter,' said Mr. Shelby.

'I can't make trade that way—I positively can't, Mr. Shelby,' said the other, holding
up a glass of wine between his eye and the light.

'Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow; he is certainly worth that sum
anywhere—steady, honest, capable, manages my whole farm like a clock.'

'You mean honest, as niggers go,' said Haley, helping himself to a glass of brandy.

'No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible, pious fellow. He got religion at
a camp-meeting, four years ago; and I believe he really did get it. I've trusted him,
since then, with everything I have,—money, house, horses,—and let him come and
go round the country; and I always found him true and square in everything.'

'Some folks don't believe there is pious niggers, Shelby,' said Haley, with a candid
flourish of his hand, 'but I do. I had a fellow, now, in this yer last lot I took to
and
poured out some more brandy.

'Well, then, Haley, how will you trade?' said Mr. Shelby, after an uneasy interval of
silence.

'Well, haven't you a boy or gal that you could throw in with Tom?'

'Hum!—none that I could well spare; to tell the truth, it's only hard necessity makes
me willing to sell at all. I don't like parting with any of my hands, that's a fact.'

Here the door opened, and a small quadroon boy, between four and five years of
age, entered the room. There was something in his appearance remarkably beautiful
and engaging. His black hair, fine as floss silk, hung in glossy curls about his
round, dimpled face, while a pair of large dark eyes, full of fire and softness, looked
out from beneath the rich, long lashes, as he peered curiously into the apartment. A
gay robe of scarlet and yellow plaid, carefully made and neatly fitted, set off to
advantage the dark and rich style of his beauty; and a certain comic air of
assurance, blended with bashfulness, showed that he had been not unused to
being petted and noticed by his master.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or Life Among the Lowly
Appendix A: Frontispiece and Six Illustrations from the first American Edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin
Appendix B: The European Prefaces to Uncle Tom's Cabin
1.Harriet Beecher Stowe, Author's Preface to the English Edition with Publisher's Advertisement (London: Thomas Bosworth, 1852).
2.Harriet Beecher Stowe, Preface to the European Edition (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1852).
3.Harriet Beecher Stowe, Preface to the French Illustrated Edition (Paris: Pierre Charpentier, 1853).
4.Harriet Beecher Stowe, Preface to the French Edition (Lecou).
Appendix C: Abolitionist, Colonization, and Proslavery Movements
1."Preamble," The Constitution of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society, 1787, and Sections 1-3 from "An ACT to give Relief to certain Persons taking Refuge in [the] State [of Pennsylvania], with Respect to their Slaves," 1780.
2.David Walker, from Walker's Appeal in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, To the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America, David Walker, 3rd edition, 1830.
3.William Lloyd Garrison, "To the Public," The Liberator, 1831.
4.Lyman Beecher, from "Dr. Beecher's Address," The African Repository and Colonial Journal, Vol. 10, Issue 9, November, 1834.
5."A Declaration of the Sentiments of the People of Hartford, Regarding the Measures of the Abolitionists," 1835.
6.Maria Chapman, et al., "Address of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society to the Women of Massachusetts," The Liberator, August 13, 1836.
7.William Lloyd Garrison, "The American Union," The Liberator, January 10, 1845.
8.George Fitzhugh, from "The Universal Slave Trade," from Cannibals All! Or Slaves Without Masters, 1857.
Appendix D: Stowe's Letters, 1836-1853
1.Harriet Beecher Stowe to Georgiana May (6 January 1836)
2.Harriet Beecher Stowe to Calvin Stowe (16 June 1845)
3.Harriet Beecher Stowe to Calvin Stowe (29 June 1849)
4.Harriet Beecher Stowe to Henry Ward Beecher (1 February 1851)
5.Harriet Beecher Stowe to Gamaliel Bailey (9 March 1851)
6.Harriet Beecher Stowe to Elizabeth Cabot Follen (16 December 1852)
Appendix E: The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the "Higher Law" Debate
1.The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 with a Synopsis and Poem by S.M. Africanus
2.From Charles Beecher, "The Duty of Disobedience to Wicked Laws. A Sermon on the Fugitive Slave Law" (1851)
3.John C. Lord, "'The Higher Law' in its Application to the Fugitive Slave Bill A Sermon on the Duties, Men owe to God and to Governments" (1851)
Appendix F: Contemporary Responses to Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Section 1: Abolitionist and African American Views
1.William Lloyd Garrison, "In the execution of her very familiar task," The Liberator, March 26, 1852.
2.William G. Allen, "I have recently read 'Uncle Tom,' Frederick Douglass's Paper, May 20, 1852.
3."Letter from Martin Delany," with "Remarks" by Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass's Paper, April 1, 1853.
Section 2: Proslavery Responses to Uncle Tom's Cabin
1.Unsigned, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," The New York Observer, October 21, 1852.
2.Louisa S. McCord, from "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Southern Quarterly Review, Vol. 7, Issue 13, January, 1853.
3.Mary Chesnut, Diary entries from Mary Chesnut's Civil War, 1861-1865.
Section 3: European Responses to Uncle Tom's Cabin
1."American Slavery," New York Times, September 18, 1852.
2.George Sand, "Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin," La Presse, December 17, 1852.
3.Emile Montegut, "The Abolitionist Novel in America," Revue des Deux Mondes [Review of Two Worlds], October-December, 1852.
4.Anonymous, from "The American Novel: Uncle Tom's Cabin," Allgemeine Zietung, October 7-8, 1852.
5."B," "Mistress Harriet Beecher-Stowe and the Novel," El Universo Pintoresco [The Picturesque Universe], No. 25, July 15, 1853.
Appendix G: Uncle Tom's Cabin on Stage
Frontispiece: "Eliza Pursued by Bloodhounds"
1."J," "Mrs. Stowe's Drama," [Review of Mary Webb's performance of "The Christian Slave"], The Liberator, December 14, 1855.
2."Uncle Tom's Cabin at Barnum's," New York Daily Tribune, November 15, 1853.
3."Uncle Tom's Cabin at Barnum's Museum," Illustrated News, November 26, 1853.
4."I am going there, or the death of little Eve," Lithograph, 1852 (Figure G.2.).
5."The famous Jarrett & Palmer London Company consolidated with Slavin's Original American Troupe in Uncle Tom's Cabin," Lithograph, 1881 (Figure G.3.).
6."Eliza," from George Peck's grand revival of Stetson's Uncle Tom's Cabin booked by Klaw & Erlanger, 1886 (Figure G.4.).
7."Old Uncle Tom," Palmer's Uncle Tom's Cabin Co, Lithograph, 1899 (Figure G.5.).
8."Little Eva's Death Scene," Scene from stage production of Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1901 (Figure G.6.).
9."In The Cotton Field," Cotton Picking Scene from stage production of Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1901 (Figure G.7.)
10.Eugene Lund, from "Trouping with Uncle Tom," Century Magazine, 1928.
11."Uncle Tom's Cabin new Uncle Tom's Cabin Co.," Lithograph, 1923 (Figure G.8.).
12.Poster or lobby card for 1958 colorized and narrated re-release of Universal Studio's 1927 Super-Jewel Production of Uncle Tom's Cabin, Told by Raymond Massey (Figure G.9.).
Select Bibliography
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Introduction

A Reading Group Guide for Uncle Tom's Cabin

About the Book

Arthur Shelby is a good man — kind and fair — but he has fallen into financial difficulties. The only way he can set things right is by selling two of his slaves: the strong and faithful Tom, and Eliza's charming young son. Shelby's decision sets in motion two series of events that are as different as night and day, as both Tom and Eliza are forced to leave the Shelby estate. The journeys they take, and the people they meet along the way, lie at the heart of Uncle Tom's Cabin, a story that served as a searing indictment of the slave system that existed at the time.

Discussion Topics

  • How do the other people on the Shelby estate react to news of the sale of Tom and Harry? What is Mrs. Shelby's objection? How does young "Mas'r George" deal with the news of his friend's departure? How do the other slaves react?
  • Many different people help Eliza during her flight — Mr. Symmes, the Bird family, the community of Quakers. What similarities and differences are there among all these people? What reasons does each of them give for helping Eliza?
  • Much of the dialogue in the book is given over to a debate on the morality of slavery. Most of the slave owners feel that they are "above" the slave traders. Is this true? Why do you think that so many members of the clergy defended slavery?
  • Discuss the author's attitude toward her black characters. Do you think this was an acceptable point of view at the time? What do you think would have to be changed if the story were being told today?
  • Miss Ophelia's presence in the story allows the authorto address Northern attitudes toward blacks. As St. Clare tells her, "You loathe them as you would a snake or a toad, yet you are indignant at their wrongs. You would not have them abused; but you don't want to have anything to do with them yourselves." Is this a fair assessment of Miss Ophelia's feelings? What happens to change her attitude?
  • Discuss the death scenes of both Eva and Uncle Tom. In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different? Why do you think that the author devoted so much time to these death scenes?
  • Children play a large part in the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin. What do Eva, Topsy, George Shelby, Harry, and Henrique each symbolize? Would the story have been the same if their characters had been adult?

Activities

  • Trace the route of the Underground Railroad. Find information about some of the major stops, as well as some of the famous "conductors" that helped slaves escape. Also, research what the punishment was for helping the slaves.
  • Eliza's escape across the river has always been popular with dramatists and actors. See if you can find examples of this scene being acted out (hint: it figures prominently in the movie The King and I). Perform this scene yourself, and any other scenes you think lend themselves well to performance.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin was very controversial when it was first published, and it's often said to be a contributing factor to the Civil War. Research reactions to the book throughout its history.
  • Investigate the institution of slavery. What were the economic factors that supported it? Could slavery have ended without a war?
  • Quakers played an important role in the abolitionist movement. How did their beliefs make them particularly well suited for the abolitionist cause?
  • A great deal of attention is given in the book to descriptions of food. Find some traditional Southern recipes and try them out.
  • Find other books and writings that were important in the fight for civil rights. Compare them to Uncle Tom's Cabin, both in terms of style and historical context.

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Reading Group Guide

Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree, little Eva: their names are American bywords, and all of them are characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's remarkable novel of the pre-Civil War South. Uncle Tom's Cabin was revolutionary in 1852 for its passionate indictment of slavery and for its presentation of Tom, "a man of humanity," as the first black hero in American fiction. Labeled racist and condescending by some contemporary critics, it remains a shocking, controversial, and powerful work -- exposing the attitudes of white nineteenth-century society toward "the peculiar institution" and documenting, in heartrending detail, the tragic breakup of black Kentucky families "sold down the river." An immediate international sensation, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold 300,000 copies in the first year, was translated into thirty-seven languages, and has never gone out of print: its political impact was immense, its emotional influence immeasurable.


From the Paperback edition.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Lied about exact copy

    I had my hopes, but it is a mess. Deleting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Hlhp

    Uplgyoyhl ruvlpy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    ?

    So is it still good to get or does it have many typos

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    Posted June 13, 2013

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