Uncle Tom's Cabin

I should have been in bed asleep, but the thought of the Mockingbird made me think of my 'Uncle Tom book' collection. Years ago I visited Uncle Toms Cabin Site in Dresden, Ontario, Canada. In 1841 a man called Josiah Henson moved his family there after they escaped from slavery via the 'Underground Railroad'. He helped to establish the Dawn Settlement. The settlement was established to provide a refuge and a new beginning for former slaves. Through his leadership, the British American Institute, one of Canada's first industrial schools, was founded. The school was intended for the advancement of fugitive slaves. Somehow Josiah's name became synonymous with the central character "Uncle Tom" in Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. The novel sold 300,000 copies within the first year and helped to raise awareness to the brutality of slavery. Parts of the settlement still exists and I went there one very hot summerday with my aunt and uncle while I was on vacation in Canada.

There was a glass case with all kinds of editions in all kinds of languages by which I was very impressed. That was the beginning of me collecting 'Uncle Tom' books. Most books in my collection are in the dutch language since they are easier to obtain. I do want to get my hands on other languages though.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote the novel, later wrote 'The Key to Uncle Tom'. Stowe wrote this book to defend her novel against one of the most wide-spread complaints that pro-slavery critics lodged against it. Because I work in a University Library I once had the change to hold a copy of this key in my hands (they are quite rare). Ofcourse nowadays the novel as well as the The Key to Uncle Tom can be read online. But never ever will that replace the smell and feel of a real book.

If it so happens I got you interested visit this site. It is amazing. It's an extensive multi-media archive on the book 'Uncle Toms cabin' and on American Culture.

Christel | Zondag 13 Juli 2003 at 10:32 am | | boeken |

Little Friend and Mockingbird

I have to write something about The little friend by Donna Tart again. It's an enticing book! Although it's a very different story somehow the atmosphere of the book reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It's remniscent of hot, hazy, long-gone summerdays. Wonderful books, both of them!

to kill a mockingbird
the little friend

Christel | Zaterdag 12 Juli 2003 at 10:20 am | | boeken |

Oops, I did it!

Welcome to my little place on the web. It's not much yet but I'm working on it. Take a look around and come back any time you like :).

Because the weather looked so nice today I planned on spending the day outside in the backyard with a book.
But this site kept me busy and now the sky has clouded over. I guess that will keep me glued to the computer a bit longer ;). I am reading The little friend by Donna Tart.

Christel | Vrijdag 11 Juli 2003 at 10:27 am | | leven van alledag, weblogpraat |