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Harriet Beecher Stowe: Criticism and Reviews

The Internet Public Library features links to criticism of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The Classic Text: Traditions and Interpretations from the University of Wisconsin at Madison has criticism and reviews of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The History Teacher has a review in which both Uncle Tom's Cabin and Dred are discussed.

The Sunshine for Women web site has a biography of Stowe, along with review information for Uncle Tom's Cabin.

"Nat Turner and Dred" is the title of two letters of criticism to the editor sent to the New York Review of Books, following a literary review of the works of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Additional criticism and review of Harriet Beecher Stowe's works can be found at your local public library.

The following reviews can be accessed online only by an individual who has a current library card through this address.

"Harriet Beecher Stowe: Overview."
Critic: Madeleine B. Stern.
Reference Guide to American Literature, 3rd ed., edited by Jim Kamp, St. James Press, 1994.

"Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe's masterpiece, has been said to have had a 'social impact…on the United States...greater than that of any book before or since…"

"Mrs. Stowe's New Novel."
Critic: Henry James.
New York Tribune, June 13, 1859, p. 5.

"It has always seemed to us that the anti-Slavery element in the two former novels of Mrs. Stowe stood in the way of a full appreciation of her remarkable genius, at least in her own country…"

"'Colored' Views."
The Literary World Vol. X, No. 17, April 24, 1852, pp. 291-92.

"Mrs. Stowe, abandoning her husband's hose, has seized upon that of the abolition engine and is playing away a full stream upon Southern people and Southern institutions generally. How to treat her book (Uncle Tom's Cabin) is our difficulty at present…"

"Contemporary Literature of America."
Critic: R. W. Griswold.
The Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Review, Vol. LVIII, No. CXIII, July 1, 1852, pp. 272-87. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 3.

"(In Uncle Tom's Cabin Mrs. Stowe) has hit the nail on the head, not only as a littérateur, but as an abolitionist. No senator in Congress, no editor in a leading article, can come round the subject and round the reader, and into the heart of both so effectively, as this book -- so superior is dramatic representation (where it can be employed) to the sharpest weapons of logic and the loudest thunders of oratory…"

"A Review of Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands."
The Eclectic Review, n.s. Vol. VIII, September, 1854, pp. 327-41. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 3.

(Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands is) sure to be extensively read. The name of Mrs. Stowe guarantees this. The unprecedented popularity of Uncle Tom's Cabin has rendered it familiar to all classes of our countrymen, and has naturally awakened an intense desire to know all that can be learnt respecting the author…"

"Mrs. Stowe's Mayflower."
Critic: Andrew Preston Peabody.
The North American Review, Vol. LXXXI, No. CLXVIII, July, 1855, pp. 276-77. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 3.

"Though we recollected many of the pieces in (The Mayflower, and Miscellaneous Writings), and they had made us think the better of the magazines in which they originally appeared, they yet had not separately produced upon us the impression which together they now make with regard to their writer…"

"Novels of the Day."
The Irish Quarterly Review, Vol. VI, No. XXIV, December, 1856, pp. 766-79. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 3.

Dred (A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp), in proportion, is undoubtedly nearer to (Mrs. Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin), than Shirley, or (Villette) is to Jane Eyre; but, notwithstanding,... we feel, if the authoress does not, that…"

"A Review of The Minister's Wooing."
The Dublin Review, Vol. XLVII, No. XCV, May, 1860, pp. 190-228. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 3.

"Like an old painting, (The Minister's Wooing) is not drawn for effect, it is a natural expression of the writer's soul; and we approach the consideration of it, therefore…"

"A Letter to Mrs. Fields on July 5, 1889."
Critic: Sarah Orne Jewett.
Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett, edited by Annie Fields, Houghton Mifflin, 1911, pp. 46-8. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 3.

"...I have been reading the beginning of The Pearl of Orr's Island and finding it just as clear and perfectly original and strong as it seemed to me in my thirteenth or fourteenth year, when I read it first. I never shall forget the exquisite flavor and reality of delight that it gave me…"

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