Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and writer, most well-known for her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a depiction of the lives of African Americans under slavery. She met Elizabeth Barrett Browning during a trip to England in 1856. In 1859-60 she traveled to Italy and became acquainted with the Brownings socially.
In this letter Elizabeth Barrett Browning assures Stowe that she is not ill with “typhus,” but would like to reschedule their meeting until Monday.
Stowe’s anti-slavery novel sold 300,000 copies in its first year of publication in 1852. In a letter to her friend Mary Russell Mitford, dated 15 March , Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes of Stowe and her novel:
No woman ever had such a success, such a fame! No man ever had, in a single book. For my part I rejoice greatly in it. It is an individual glory full of healthy influence & benediction to the world.
Harriet Beecher Stowe. Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands [2 vols.]. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company; New York: J.C. Derby, 1854.
Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands was an account of Stowe’s travels in Europe in 1853 written for an American audience. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in a letter to Sarianna Browning on [18 September 1854], says she plans to read Stowe’s book:
[A]nd in the meantime Robert read aloud snatches caught out of the heart of it, to Isa Bladgen, Hatty Hosmer & me.
The Armstrong Browning Library’s holdings related to Harriet Beecher Stowe include more than a dozen books and one letter.