Also By This Author
“Harriet Beecher Stowe is one of the great heroines of American history, and Philip McFarland brings her to life in all her glory, in a book at once so dramatic and so subtle that it rivals the best fiction.” Debby Applegate, author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe
978-0-8021-4390-7 • $17.00 • Paperback • Nov. 2008
From the acclaimed author of Hawthorne in Concord comes a vivid rendering of the world of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of one of the most important books in nineteenth-century America.
“So you’re the little lady who started the war,” Abraham Lincoln is rumored to have said when he met the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin on the eve of the Emancipation Proclamation. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s groundbreaking novelthree thousand copies sold on the first day, a million by the year’s end made her the most famous woman in America and forced an ambivalent North to confront the atrocities of slavery, yet her accomplishment was just one of many of the Beechers, the most eminent American family of the nineteenth century. In this intimate account, Philip McFarland follows the Beecher clan to the frontier boom town of Cincinnati, where Harriet’s glimpses of slavery across the
Kentucky border moved her to pen Uncle Tom’s Cabin.We meet Harriet’s foremost loves: her father Lyman, her husband Calvin, and her brother, Henry Ward Beecher, the most famous preacher of his time whose trial for adultery riveted the nation. As McFarland leads us through Harriet’s ever-changing world, he traces the arc of her literary career from her hardscrabble beginnings as a breadwinning freelancer to her ascendancy as the most renowned writer of her day.
More than the portrait of a family and their most famous daughter, Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe is a detailed rendering of mid-nineteenth-century America in the midst of unprecedented social and demographic explosions. Drawing on a vast reservoir of Beecher Stowe’s correspondence and other contemporary documents, McFarland crafts the story of one of America’s defining families into an unforgettable national portrait.