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Uncle Tom's Cabin by  Harriet Beecher Stowe - First Edition - 1851 - from B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA and

Uncle Tom's Cabin

by Stowe, Harriet Beecher

Condition: See description

London: John Cassell, 1851 Illustrated by George Cruikshank. First English edition. Finely bound by Morrell in full tan calf with five raised bands to spine, boards and spine decorated in gilt with gilt turn-ins, blue-gray endpapers. A near fine copy with sunning to spine and a touch of rubbing to extremities, a few faint scratches to boards and offsetting from turn-ins to endpapers, previous owner's gift inscription to first free leaf. Overall, a bright, clean copy in a beautiful calf binding. Uncle Tom's Cabin is an anti-slavery novel, published in the years leading up to the American Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Originally issued serially from June 5, 1851-April 1, 1852 in the American abolitionist periodical The National Era, the novel features the fictional protagonists Tom and Eliza, two African-American slaves attempting to preserve their families in the face of abuse and oppression. Tom, the titular character, is a religious man and chooses to work within the system to ensure his family's protection. Eliza, alternatively, flees from her imprisoners, escaping to freedom in Canada. The book was inspired by the newly heightened restrictions on escaped slaves in the North; the Compromise of 1850 demanded increased enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, which took hefty fines from anyone who failed to return an escaped slave to their "master". Throughout the text, Stowe preaches her own Christian beliefs in encouragement of compassion, mercy, and forgiveness as solutions for slavery. First published in book form on March 20, 1852 in Boston, Uncle Tom's Cabin was an instant bestseller, and was issued in a British edition in the same year. This edition, illustrated by George Cruikshank, was released just weeks later..

In Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe, the title character Uncle Tom is a long-suffering slave, loyal to both his faith and his master. Presented with an opportunity to escape, he instead chooses to remain in slavery to avoid embarrassing his master. After being sold to a slave trader, Tom suffers brutal treatment and is eventually beaten to death for his refusal to betray his friends — made to represent an ideal of true Christianity. Enormously popular (it was the best-selling novel of the 19th century) and influential, it’s publication in 1852 was instrumental in bringing visibility to the cruel reality of slavery. In more recent years, it has come under considerable criticism for its portrayal of meekness and subservience and the phrase “Uncle Tom” is sometimes used as an epithet for someone seen as overly subservient.  Read more: Identifying first editions of Uncle Tom's Cabin


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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf. A...[more]
raised band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books.  The bands are created ...[more]
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket....[more]
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
Calf or calf hide is a common form of leather binding.  Calf binding is naturally a light brown but there are ways to treat...[more]
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