THIS life of Harriet Beecher Stowe is not a biography in the ordinary sense. It is rather the story of a real character; telling, not so much what she did as what she was, and how she became what she was.
Each of the ten chapters is meant to be complete in itself, and to tell how the child grew, how she became a teacher and writer, a wife and mother; and, as the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," rose from obscurity to fame. Then, we see her in the storm and stress of a war that she had done much to bring on; in her Southern home; as a delineator of New England life and character, and, finally, as she waits the muffled oar beside the silent sea and gently drifts away with the ebbing tide. She herself is ever at the centre, and everything else is subordinated to her and viewed through her consciousness, and we look at the facts of her life as they were mirrored there. What her critics in the past thought of her, or what they think of her in the present, or may think of her in the future, is not a matter that concerns us.