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[[[image-0 medium left]]] On this day in 1811, the American author, social advocate and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe was born.
Following the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, and having witnessed first-hand the cruelty of slavery, Stowe began writing for the anti-slavery newspaper The National Era, publishing instalments of a story that would "paint a word picture of slavery". These instalments were later published as a novel that became an immediate best seller in America and across the world.
This novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, which was published in book form in 1852, captured the nation’s attention with its emotional portrayal of slavery in America. The novel was instrumental in galvanising public opinion against slavery, which ultimately led to the abolition of slavery in America in 1863.
‘The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe’ is a collection of essays which explore Stowe’s impact on the American Civil Rights movement and on social reform, and how she influenced the American novel.