It’s late!

Only 10:45pm, but a few hours since Shabbat went out. We had a nice and very sociable one, so that’s good.

Still, I think I’ll limit myself to the one book to discuss!

57. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This was Julie’s latest read over at Forgotten Classics (which I’ve mentioned before, always positively, I think). This has rather more potential for controversy than most of hers, but she never shied away from that, and I think she did a good job with it. I’ve read the book before, many years ago, and certainly it was interesting hearing what Americans (from different parts of the US – and not just talking about Julie and her correspondents here) say about the book and the issues it raised. Not that I’ve heard anyone justify slavery or the (other) atrocities perpetuated with it, of course. Still, it’s intriguing to hear the criticisms of the book, whether literary or fact based.

There are definite issues with Stowe’s own expressed opinions (like many of her time she did espouse ideas of racial characteristics, for both bad and good) from a modern perspective. I have been troubled many times in this blog by when to ‘allow for’ the prejudices of past ages, and when to say they are unacceptable now, even for that time, and I probably will be again. (Examples off the top of my head: the Tarzan books, the Fuzzies books just a few days ago.) I suppose with this book I’ll just accept that she was trying to make an important point, but by no stretch of the imagination had perfect opinions, attitudes, or writing styles.


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