Little Lady Starts Big War
Harriet Beecher Stowe had poured her heart into her anti-slavery book "Uncle Tom's Cabin." (46) The publisher was so doubtful that he wanted her to split the publishing costs with him, and all she hoped was that it would make enough money for her to buy a new silk dress.
But when the first 5,000 copies were printed in 1852， they sold out in two days. In a year the book had sold 300,000 copies in the United States and 150,000 in England. (47) Within six months of its release, a play was made from the book which ran 350 performances in New York and remained America's most popular play for 80 years. It might appear that "Uncle Tom's Cabins was universally popular, but this was certainly not true. Many people during those pre-Civil War days--particularly defenders of the slavery system--condemned it as false propaganda and poorly written melodrama (传奇剧作品).
Harriet did have strong religious views against slavery (When asked how she came to write the book, she replied: "God wrote it."), and she tried to convince people slavery was wrong, so perhaps the book could be considered propaganda. (48)
Though she was born in Connecticut in 1832, as a young woman she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, when her father accepted the presidency of newly founded Lane Theological Seminary (神学院). Ohio was a free state, but just across the Ohio River in Kentucky, Harriet saw slavery in action. (49) In 1851, Harriet Beecher Stowe began her book.
Its vast influence strengthened the anti-slavery movement and angered defenders of the slave system. (50)
In fact, when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet at the White House during the Civil War, he said, "So, this is the little lady who started this big war."
A She had read a lot about the slavery system
B Today some historians (历史学家) think that it helped bring on the American Civil War.
C But if so, it was true propaganda, because it accurately described the evils of slavery.
D For a while it outsold every book in the world, except the Bible
E But neither she nor her first publisher thought it would be a big success.
F She lived 18 years in Cincinnati, marrying Calvin Stowe, professor of a college.
46. E 47. D 48. C 49. F 50. B