HARRIET BEECHER STOWE by Suzanne M. Coil

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

Age Range: 11 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A solid, well-detailed Impact Biography of the doughty New Englander to whom Lincoln remarked, when she traveled to the White House to tax him with his tardiness in proclaiming emancipation, ``So this is the little lady who made this big war.'' Indeed, Uncle Tom's Cabin's 1851 publication had energized the country by bringing to life truths about slavery that Stowe had observed on a visit to the South and also researched--facts she later presented, in defense of her novel in A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853). Coil's chronological narrative is straightforward and lively; she's forthright about such topics as Harriet and her eminent brothers' philosophical differences with their equally eminent father's Calvinism and her impecunious husband Calvin Stowe's hypochondria, but readers are left to read between the lines for the deeper meaning of relationships (though ``happily married,'' Harriet was typically in better health and more productive during Calvin's absences). Still, a thorough and readable portrait of a fascinating figure, competently set in her historical context. Insert of b&w photos and engravings; fairly extensive bibliography; source notes (except for son Charles Edward Stowe's Life, which was compiled from letters and journals, the citations--mostly to a handful of secondary sources--don't give much sense of their ultimate authority); index. (Biography. 11+)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-531-13006-1
Page count: 176pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1993




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