Featured Literary Musing

How Harriet Beecher Stowe was Inspired to Write Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The first American author whose book could claim the distinction of “international best seller” was Harriet Beecher Stowe. Not the first female author, mind you, but the first author ever. After the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852, no book sold faster out of the gate; 1.5 million copies were sold worldwide by the end of its first year, and in the entire nineteenth century, only the Bible sold more copies. The book not only helped change the course of history, but changed the business of publishing as it was known.

It may be overstating the case to claim, as some have, that the book helped to ignite the Civil War, though some historians do believe that this book laid the groundwork. President Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying when he met Stowe in 1862, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” Read More→

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