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“The Social Impact Was Greater Than Any Book Before Or Since”

63. STOWE, Harriet Beecher.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Or, Life Among the Lowly.

Boston and Cleveland,

1852. Two volumes. Octavo, original gilt-stamped brown cloth, custom clamshell box.

$12,000.

First edition, first issue, of Stowe’s classic and

vastly influential novel, in unrestored original

cloth.

Unsurprisingly banned in the Confederate

States during the Civil War because of its

anti-slavery content, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was

also banned in Russia under Nicholas I for the

idea of equality it presented, and for its “under-

mining religious ideals”

(Karolides).

“In the emotion-charged atmosphere of

mid-19th-century America

Uncle Tom’s

Cabin

exploded like a bombshell. To those

engaged in fighting slavery it appeared as an

indictment of all the evils inherent in the sys-

tem they opposed; to the pro-slavery forces it

was a slanderous attack on ‘the Southern way

of life’… the social impact of [the novel] on

the United States was greater than that of any

book before or since” (PMM 332). “Within a

decade after its publication

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

had become the most popular novel ever

written by an American… there is substan-

tial evidence that the book precipitated the

American Civil War” (Downs,

Books That

Changed America,

108). Old, related news-

paper clipping affixed to front pastedown of

Volume I. Volume I with scattered light fox-

ing; text of Volume II generally clean. Cloth

extremely good with a bit of soiling, very

minor wear to spine head, far less than usual,

gilt bright. An exceptionally good copy.

“So long as the

law considers

all these human

beings, with

beating hearts

and living

affections, only

as so many

things belonging

to a master… it

is impossible to

make anything

beautiful or

desirable in the

best regulated

administration

of slavery.”

70

BANNED BOOKS

offensive & immoral