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1852. [In Two Volumes.] Boston: John P. Jewett & Company / Cleveland, Ohio: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852. Original blind-stamped brown cloth with front cover vignettes in gilt. First Edition, first issue (without mention of any "thousand" of copies on the title pages). The first printing consisted of 5000 copies, but within ten days that printing was sold and another 5000 copies (with "Tenth Thousand" on the titles) were printed; within six months the total was up to 120,000. ~Mrs. Stowe had been inspired to write this novel by the 1850 passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, in which "all good citizens" (Northern as well as Southern) were commanded to assist Federal agents in capturing runaway slaves and returning them to their masters. UNCLE TOM'S CABIN was first published serially in the abolitionist periodical "National Era," from June 1851 to April 1852; the author had originally intended to complete the work in a few issues, but strong public interest encouraged her to continue it for ten months. This book was published in March 1852, prior to the end of serialization, and quickly became a "runaway" sensation. Certainly this book, in combination with the Fugitive Slave Act, was a major catalyst of the American Civil War -- as Lincoln himself implied, when he met Mrs. Stowe.~This copy is in Blanck's binding "B," the standard cloth one with most ornamentation in blind but with the front cover vignettes in gilt; the cloth color is brown (black and purple were also used, without precedence). Binding "A" is in wrappers, and binding "C" is cloth with all ornamentation in gilt -- "sequence, if any, not established," though the deposit copy was in this binding "B."~The volumes have very slight wear at the spine ends (much less than usual -- often the spine ends are largely chipped away), and there is occasional light foxing within (as usual); a few gatherings stand slightly proud in Vol II, but the volumes remain tight. Though copies of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN are out there, we don't see many in this condition. Blanck 19343; Merle Johnson "High Spot" of American Literature -- though he says "These books are of such paramount historical importance that it is difficult to evaluate them as literature.
      [Bookseller: Sumner & Stillman]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    


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