Harriet Beecher Stowe, Spiritual Adventurer
Image: WINDN / Associated Press
Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life (Library of Religious Biography (LRB))
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Book Title
Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life (Library of Religious Biography (LRB))
Author
Publisher
Eerdmans
Release Date
January 13, 2014
Pages
384
Price
$17.10
Buy Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life (Library of Religious Biography (LRB)) from Amazon

The novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) became one of the 19th century's literary superstars with the publication of her most famous work, Uncle Tom's Cabin. The book came into being first as a magazine serial and then as a 2-volume work published in 1852. Besides its status as one of the great anti-slavery polemics of its time, the extremely popular novel features a long cast of interesting characters, a wide geographical sweep, and extensive examples of the rhetorical debates that were common in the decade leading up to the Civil War.

Within a decade of publishing Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe met President Lincoln at the White House. The legend developed that he said to her, upon their first encounter in 1862, "Is this the little woman who made this great war?" Whether Lincoln uttered these specific words (or made any similar observation) is unknown. Yet the anecdote does reveal the extent to which Stowe had already become a famous cultural spokesperson, She championed the American civil religion, articulated a conservative message of women's rights and motherhood, and a envisioned a Christian America unified around a strong embrace of Scripture. In short, Stowe gradually became a recognized cultural heavyweight with wide ranging political influence—one of the first American women to achieve that stature.

As great as her reputation was during her lifetime, Uncle Tom's Cabin began taking some critical hits with the advent of a new century. There arose a more modern temperament in literature that grimaced at the book's appeals to sentiment and faith. As a consequence, Stowe's masterpiece was relegated to the ash heap of literary history. But Stowe has been making a comeback ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueTogether for the Gospels: Unprecedented Unity Among Bible Translators Transforms Giving
Together for the Gospels: Unprecedented Unity Among Bible Translators Transforms Giving
Lessons learned from illumiNations initiative could help other causes.
RecommendedThe Secret Religion of the Slaves
The Secret Religion of the Slaves
They often risked floggings to worship God.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickThe Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
A leading Nigerian theologian believes the real danger to Christianity in Africa is in the church.
Christianity Today
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Spiritual Adventurer
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.