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Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life Among the Lowly

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Paperback
    $20.70
PUBLISHED: 30th June 1981
ISBN: 9780140390032
ANNOTATION:
First published in 1859, and set in eighteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, The Minister's Wooing is a historical novel and domestic comedy that satirizes Calvinism, celebrating its intellectual and moral integrity while critiquing its rigid theology. Mary Scudder lives with her widowed mother in a modest middle-class home. Dr. Hopkins, a Calvinist minister who boards with them, is dedicated to helping the slaves arriving at Newport and calls for the abolition of slavery. The pious Mary admires him but is also in love with the passionate but skeptical James Marvyn who, hungry for adventure, joins the crew of a ship setting sail for exotic destinations. When James is presumed lost at sea, Mary fears for his soul, and consents to marry the good Doctor. With important insights on slavery, history, and gender, as well as characters based on historical figures, The Minister's Wooing is, as Susan Harris notes in her Introduction, "an historical novel, like Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter or Catharine Sedgwick's Hope Leslie or A New England Tale; it is an attempt through fiction to create a moral, intellectual, and affective history for New England."
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  • Paperback
    $20.70
PUBLISHED: 30th June 1981
ISBN: 9780140390032
ANNOTATION:
First published in 1859, and set in eighteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, The Minister's Wooing is a historical novel and domestic comedy that satirizes Calvinism, celebrating its intellectual and moral integrity while critiquing its rigid theology. Mary Scudder lives with her widowed mother in a modest middle-class home. Dr. Hopkins, a Calvinist minister who boards with them, is dedicated to helping the slaves arriving at Newport and calls for the abolition of slavery. The pious Mary admires him but is also in love with the passionate but skeptical James Marvyn who, hungry for adventure, joins the crew of a ship setting sail for exotic destinations. When James is presumed lost at sea, Mary fears for his soul, and consents to marry the good Doctor. With important insights on slavery, history, and gender, as well as characters based on historical figures, The Minister's Wooing is, as Susan Harris notes in her Introduction, "an historical novel, like Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter or Catharine Sedgwick's Hope Leslie or A New England Tale; it is an attempt through fiction to create a moral, intellectual, and affective history for New England."

Annotation

First published in 1859, and set in eighteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, The Minister's Wooing is a historical novel and domestic comedy that satirizes Calvinism, celebrating its intellectual and moral integrity while critiquing its rigid theology. Mary Scudder lives with her widowed mother in a modest middle-class home. Dr. Hopkins, a Calvinist minister who boards with them, is dedicated to helping the slaves arriving at Newport and calls for the abolition of slavery. The pious Mary admires him but is also in love with the passionate but skeptical James Marvyn who, hungry for adventure, joins the crew of a ship setting sail for exotic destinations. When James is presumed lost at sea, Mary fears for his soul, and consents to marry the good Doctor. With important insights on slavery, history, and gender, as well as characters based on historical figures, The Minister's Wooing is, as Susan Harris notes in her Introduction, "an historical novel, like Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter or Catharine Sedgwick's Hope Leslie or A New England Tale; it is an attempt through fiction to create a moral, intellectual, and affective history for New England."

Publisher Description

Published in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe?s novel was a powerful indictment of slavery in America. Describing the many trials and eventual escape to freedom of the long-suffering, good-hearted slave Uncle Tom, it aimed to show how Christian love can overcome any human cruelty. Uncle Tom?s Cabin has remained controversial to this day, seen as either a vital milestone in the anti-slavery cause or as a patronising stereotype of African-Americans, yet it played a crucial role in the eventual abolition of slavery and remains one of the most important American novels ever written.

Author Biography

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an American abolitionist and author. Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the U.S. and Britain and made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions.

Review

"Uncle Tom's Cabin is the most powerful and enduring work of art ever written about American slavery." --Alfred Kazin

Excerpt from Book

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 not even 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 Orleans--''twas as good as a meetin'', now, really, to hear that critter pray; and he was quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched me a good sum, too, for I bought him cheap of a man that was ''bliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him. Yes, I consider religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when it''s the genuine article, and no mistake.'' ''Well, Tom''s got the real article, if ever a fellow had,'' rejoined the other. ''Why, last fall, I let him go to Cincinnati alone, to do business for me, and bring home five hundred dollars. ''Tom,'' says I to him, ''I trust you, because I think you''re a Christian--''I know you wouldn''t cheat.'' Tom comes back, sure enough; I knew he would. Some low fellows, they say, said to him--''Tom, why don''t you make tracks for Canada?'' ''Ah, master trusted me, and I couldn''t''--they told me about it. I am sorry to part with Tom, I must say. You ought to let him cover the whole balance of the debt; and you would, Haley, if you had any conscience.'' ''Well, I''ve got just as much conscience as any man in business can afford to keep,--just a little, you know, to swear by, as ''twere,'' said the trader, jocularly; ''and then, I''m ready to do anything in reason to ''blige friends; but this yer, you see, is a leetle too hard on a fellow--a leetle too hard.'' The trader sighed contemplatively, 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.

Product Details

Author
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Short Title
UNCLE TOMS CABIN
Pages
640
Publisher
Penguin Books
Series
Penguin American Library
Language
English
ISBN-10
0140390030
ISBN-13
9780140390032
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
Year
1981
Publication Date
1981-06-30
Subtitle
Or, Life Among the Lowly
Illustrations
illustrations
Edition
1st
Edited by
Ann Douglas
Audience Age
14-18
Residence
US
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Audience
General/Trade
UK Release Date
1981-09-17
AU Release Date
1981-09-17
NZ Release Date
1981-09-17
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