If it were your Harry, mother, or your Willie, that were going to be torn from you by a brutal trader, tomorrow morning,–if you had seen the man, and heard that the papers were signed and delivered, and you had only from twelve o’clock till morning to make good your escape,–how fast could you walk? How many miles could you make in those few brief hours, with the darling at your bosom,–the little sleepy head on your shoulder,–the small, soft arms trustingly holding on to your neck?
So wrote Harriet Beech Stowe in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, describing the scene as Eliza runs with her son, Harry. Reading this classic has somehow escaped me all these years, but I am enjoying it now, and can see — in the early going — why Lincoln reportedly said on meeting Mrs. Stowe, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.”
The book came out in 1852; proportionate to the population, it is one of the most popular novels ever.
And it’s fun and interesting to read.
Reposted from May 1, 2011.