[Uncle Tom's Cabin] appeared ... when not only the United States but the whole civilized world
was deeply interested in the problem of slavery. Mrs. Stowe attacked the institution, not the people who maintained it. She took
great pains to picture the pleasantest side of slavery, while also depicting its darkest, and her own impression was that her
Abolitionist friends would reject the book as inadequate, and that the South would hail it as a just treatment of the question.
Exactly the reverse happened. The scenes of terrible cruelty in the course of the tale offended the South, whereas the Abolitionists
everywhere were delighted. But the amazing success of the work depended undoubtedly on something more than interest in the local problem,
for it went quickly into more than twenty languages, including Armenian, Chinese, and Japanese. ... The story appeared first as a serial
in the Abolitionist weekly, The National Era, published in Washington. Only the merest fragment of the work was written when the first
instalment [sic] appeared, and Mrs. Stowe completed it week by week, writing in the intervals of household duties, for nearly a year.
When it was in book form the presses could not supply copies fast enough to meet the demand.
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