Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Finished Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I've always wanted to read this book. I'm glad I finally got around to it. It was an excellent read. People have asked me if the language is antiquated. The answer is no. It's a very accessible, exciting and emotional novel. It was originally published in serial form in an abolitionist publication. When it was first published in book form the entire run sold out. It went on to be the best selling novel of the 19th Century. While Stowe does an excellent job of illustrating the horrors of slavery, she does so with characters who are very three dimensional. Simon Legree, the most loathsome and barbaric person in the novel is haunted by superstition and the memory of his pious mother. This made him much more credible as a character.

I recently started reading Maude Hart Lovelace's Betsey and Tacy Go Downtown, the fourth book in her series for children. Set in the early 1900s, the book tells the story of Betsy and Tacy and their friend Tib who are longing to go see the play Uncle Tom's Cabin which is being performed in their town. Funny coincidence.

Wikipedia suggests that anyone who is interested in American Literature and/or American history might find Uncle Tom's Cabin especially intriguing as a precursor to protest novels like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Not sure I'll ever be able to read that one.

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