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Harriet Beecher Stowe: 12/03/09
Say the name Harriet Beecher Stowe and what pops into mind? I bet you thought Uncle Tom's Cabin. Her serialized novel is credited with lighting the fire that became the Civil War but there was much more to her life and her career as a writer.
Suzanne M. Coil's biography (aimed at young adult readers), Harriet Beecher Stowe covers the writer's life from her birth in 1811, her childhood, her pre writing adult life, her writing career and her death in 1896. The book includes a nice selection of photographs of Stowe and her family and the landmarks of her life.
Harriet was the sixth of eleventh children. Her seven brothers took after their father and became ministers. Much of Harriet's early work revolved around the church and women's education (from working with her sister Catharine who ran a women's school).
Harriet began writing before she married. Writing both nonfiction and fiction (short stories). Later as she and her husband were struggling to pay bills and keep the family finances afloat she turned her love of writing into a career. Her career spanned 51 years.
Harriet's daughter Isabella founded the Women's Suffrage Association.
The biography is easy to read and informative. The book is well paced and doesn't dwell too long on any period of the writer's life. As it's aimed at younger readers, it doesn't go into too many details but does give enough of an overview for readers to learn about her life well beyond her most famous book.
I read this book for the Woman Unbound Challenge.
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