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Uncle Tom’s Cabin. by  Harriet Beecher Stowe - Signed - 1892 - from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller and Biblio.co.uk

Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

by Stowe, Harriet Beecher

Condition: See description


2 vols. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1892. 2 vols., 8vo, lviii, 309; ix, 382 pp. Signed on the title page of Volume I by the author, and with lengthy autograph quotations signed tipped to the half-title pages of both volumes, each dated October 17, 1894. Full brown suede, decorative stamp and title on all four covers, gilt lettering on backstrip, green silk doublures, gilt top. Handsome volumes with minor wear to the backstrip crowns and feet and one or two marks on the suede. Enclosed in a modern protective box. The Riverside Press large paper edition, number 246 of 250, illustrated by E. W. Kemble; a late but magnificent edition of this work of tremendous historical significance. The elderly author shows a flash of her old industriousness in the full page inscription in Volume I: “Not one throb of anguish not one tear of the oppressed is forgotten by the Man of Sorrows the Lord of Glory. In His generous patient bosom he bears the anguish of a world”, and in Volume II where she quotes from Uncle Tom’s death scene: “Oh Mas’r George ye’ are too late. The Lord’s bought me, and is going to take me home and I long to go. Heaven is better than Kintuck...” Both volumes are also inscribed “Written for Mr. W. H. Cathcart...” and signed and dated in full, and inserted in Volume I is an ALS by Stowe’s daughter, Miss H. B. Stowe, 4 pages, 8vo, Hartford, Oct. 17, 1894. “. . . I wished my mother to write in them for you if possible. But writing for her is such an effort now . . . [I] only ask it of her very occasionally . . . I have had her write an extract for each volume on separate paper. I did not venture to have her write in the books, for fear of defacing them . . . I have had her attempt two or three times to write for you but without success until to day, when what she has written is quite as good as we can ever expect from her again. . .”. Only two copies are recorded at auction with inscriptions by Stowe from the text, neither having two inscriptions.

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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