milated into the American literary canon. Edmund Wilson proclaimed it in 1962 to be "a much more impressive work than one has ever been allowed to suspect" (5), and Leslie Fiedler in Love and Death in the American Novel characterized it as "an astonishingly various and complex work" (261). Kenneth Lynn argued that the negative characterization of the novel as "good propaganda" was "one of the most unjust clichés in all of American criticism" (quoted in Donovan, "Uncle Tom's Cabin"21). More recently, Paul Lauter observed, "The restoration of Uncle Tom's Cabin--even despite its racial stereotypes--to a degree of literary grace in the last decades testifies more to the impact of the civil rights movement than, as yet, to a shift in our literary aesthetic" (107). Indeed, both the civil rights and women's movements of the 1960s set the stage for a critical reassessment of the novel. Feminist critics have come to see the novel as a revolt against male patriarchy and to recognize the political dimensions inherent in the power struggles that are depicted. Jean Fagan Yellin suggests that the "problems of slavery in [the novel are] finally inseparable from the issue of women's political impotence" (91).
While the bulk of criticism addressing Stowe's works has focused on Uncle Tom's Cabin, some of her other works, most notably Oldtown Folks and The Pearl of Orr's Island, are also beginning to receive scholarly attention. John R. Adams characterizes Oldtown Folks as "the best book [ Stowe] ever wrote" and "the most comprehensive of her New England novels" (63). Judith Fetterley suggests that "next to Uncle Tom's Cabin," The Pearl of Orr's Island is "Stowe's most mythically charged and imaginatively compelling work" and that it "derives its deepest meaning from Stowe's vision of the value of the feminine principle in a masculine world" (379).
Cross, Barbara M., ed. The Autobiography of Lyman Beecher. 2 vols. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1903.
Fetterley, Judith, ed. Provisions: A Reader from 19th-Century American Women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
Fiedler, Leslie. Love and Death in the American Novel. New York: Criterion Books, 1960.
Foner, Philip S., ed. The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass. Vol. 2. New York: International Publishers, 1950.
Lauter, Paul. Canons and Contexts. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.
Yellin, Jean Fagan. "Doing It Herself: Uncle Tom's Cabin and Women's Role in the Slavery Crisis." In New Essays on "Uncle Tom's Cabin," edited by Eric J. Sundquist . New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. 85-105.