WOMAN WITH A CAUSE: HARRIET BEECHER STOWE by Winifred E. Wise

WOMAN WITH A CAUSE: HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the first book on Harriet Beecher Stowe written especially for that great conundrum -- ""The Juvenile Market"" -- since the late '40's. The author's style involves some of the same sort of writing that has made Mrs. Stowe the despair of critics who would like to rehabilitate her reputation as a great storyteller -- i.e. there is much ""tossing"" of curls, ""Hattie"" ""danced about"" or ""tripped away,"" etc. Though the author is faithful to as much of the factual record as she's chosen to use, she indulges in projections of what lies before her subject out of chronological order and she also elides the events of Mrs. Stowe's last years. While the failure to include the trauma of the Tilton scandal or the furor created by the articles in defense of Lady Byron might be explained away as unsuitable for this age level, other important, revealing information is left out. For instance, much is made throughout the book over Mrs. Stowe's role as a mother, but the tragic implications of her married daughter's drug addiction or the disappearance of her alcoholic son are never mentioned, let alone explored, although this was certainly an important part of her last years. Nor, is any mention made of the senility of Mrs. Stowe's latter days. Students turning to this subject will get a fuller picture of the woman, her era and her books in Johanna Johnston's Runaway to Heaven which was issued last year as a adult book but which reads as both entertaining and complete information at any level.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1965
Publisher: Putnam