Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers - by Jean Fritz - Paperback
"Readable and engrossing." -The Horn Book
"Fritz writes with verve and wit....Many kids will be stimulated to go on from here to find out more." -Booklist
Harriet Beecher Stowe opposed slavery with a passion, but she was a housewife with six children. What could she do? "You can write," her sister-in-law said. So she did. In 1852 her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published, and Harriet became an instant celebrity. This shouldn't have been surprising. Harriet was a Beecher, and all the Beechers made names for themselves. Her father, Lyman Beecher, was the most renowned preacher in America, but he didn't expect much from his girls. He was collecting boys because he wanted a lot of preachers in the family. He ended up with seven preachers in the family, but in her own way Harriet was the best of the lot. She became famous not just at home but all over Europe as well. When she traveled to England, crowds gathered in the streets just to see her, and thousands attended her public meetings. President Lincoln called her "the little lady who made this big war." What was she like, this nineteenth-century daughter, wife, and mother who said, "Writing is my element" and "I have determined not to be a mere domestic slave"? Award-winning biographer Jean Fritz brings this remarkable woman and her extraordinary family to life.
About the Author: Jean Fritz researches the past as if she were a journalist. She says, "My beat may lie in another time, but my approach is that of a reporter, trying for a scoop, looking for clues, connecting facts, digging under the surface." At the center of her research are the people who shaped the past, and she is especially interested in the quirky things about them. "History is full of gossip; it's real people and emotion," says Fritz. The details about these people and their emotions make Fritz's biographies and other historical books come alive for today's readers. Until she was 12 years old, Fritz and her family lived in China, where she relied on stories and writing to ease her loneliness. In those early years, she began to keep a journal in which she wrote her feelings about people and life. When she grew up, she held a number of jobs that involved writing. She also tried to get some of her children's stories published, but at first she did not succeed. Eventually she worked as a children's librarian for two years, gaining a deeper understanding of the craft of writing for children. She began sending her stories out again, and this time they began to be published. That was nearly 50 years ago, and Fritz's writing career is still going strong!