Hard Cover. Boston: John P. Jewett & Company, 1852. First Edition. Very Good.
Two volumes. First edition, first printing. One of 5,000 copies. Bound in the original publisher's brown extra gilt S cloth binding. A very good copy with some wear and chipping to the spine ends, corners worn and some fading to cloth with a small patch of discoloration to the rear board of volume II, small former owner signature to front endpapers, some light scattered foxing and spots, but generally very clean. BAL 19343. Originally published serially from June 5, 1851-April 1, 1852 in the American abolitionist periodical The National Era, Uncle Tom's Cabin is an anti-slavery novel about the human cost of slavery in the American South. Inspired by the increased stringency of the Fugitive Slave Law after the Compromise of 1850, the novel features two African-American slaves trying to preserve their families in spite of their abusive oppression. Tom, the title character, is a religious man and chooses to work within the slavery system to ensure his family's protection. Alternately, the other main character, Eliza Harris, chooses to flee slavery and escape to freedom in Canada. Throughout the text, Stowe preaches her own Christian beliefs as a means to abolishing slavery, encouraging compassion, mercy, and forgiveness as solutions. Published in book form on March 20, 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin was an instant bestseller, with 300,000 copies sold in the United States and 1.5 million copies sold in Great Britain within the first year. Due to its immediate popularity, Uncle Tom's Cabin has a complicated printing history in Great Britain, where it was pirated multiple times before authorized publication.