…from America: The Brownings’ American Correspondents–Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896)

harriet-beecher-stoweHarriet 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.

EBB-to-StowewebLetter from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to
Harriet Beecher Stowe. [?24 March 1860].

In this letter Elizabeth Barrett Browning assures Stowe that she is not ill with “typhus,” but would like to reschedule their meeting until Monday.

Uncle-Tom's-Cabinweb Harriet Beecher Stowe.  Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 
London: J. Cassell, 1852.

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 [1853], 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.

sunny memories

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.

 

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