The book was permeated with what we now call the 1848 anti-aristocratic sentiment, the direct heritage of the French Revolution
“There is a dies irae
coming on, sooner or later,” admits St. Clare in the story.
“The same thing is working, in Europe
, in England
, and in this country.”
There was no sectional hostility in Mrs. Stowe
“The people of the free states have defended, encouraged, and participated [in slavery]; and are more guilty for it, before God, than the South
, in that they have not
the apology of education or custom.
If the mothers of the free states had all felt as they should in times past, the sons of the free states would not have been the holders, and proverbially the hardest masters, of slaves; the sons of the free states would not have connived at the extension of slavery in our national body.”
“Your book is going to be the great pacificator,” wrote a friend of Mrs. Stowe
; “it will unite North and South.”
But the distinctly Christian
and fraternal intention of the book was swiftly forgotten in the storm of controversy that followed its appearance.
It had been written hastily, fervidly, in the intervals of domestic toil at Brunswick
, had been printed as a serial in The national era
without attracting much attention, and was