Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life  -     By: Nancy Koester
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Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

Life story of the prolific Christian author of Uncle Tom's Cabin

"So you're the little woman who started this big war," Abraham Lincoln is said to have quipped when he met Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin converted readers by the thousands to the anti-slavery movement and served notice that slavery's days were numbered. Overnight Stowe became a celebrity, but to defenders of slavery she was the devil in petticoats.

Most writing about Stowe treats her as a literary figure and social reformer while underplaying her Christian faith. But Nancy Koester's biography treats Stowe's faith as central to her life - both her public fight against slavery and her own struggle through deep personal grief to find a gracious God.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 0802833047
ISBN-13: 9780802833044
Availability: In Stock
Series: Library of Religious Biography

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Publisher's Description

"So you're the little woman who started this big war," Abraham Lincoln is said to have quipped when he met Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin converted readers by the thousands to the anti-slavery movement and served notice that the days of slavery were numbered. Overnight Stowe became a celebrity, but to defenders of slavery she was the devil in petticoats.

Most writing about Stowe treats her as a literary figure and social reformer while downplaying her Christian faith. But Nancy Koester's biography highlights Stowe’s faith as central to her life -- both her public fight against slavery and her own personal struggle through deep grief to find a gracious God. Having meticulously researched Stowe’s own writings, both published and un-published, Koester traces Stowe's faith pilgrimage from evangelical Calvinism through spiritualism to Anglican spirituality in a flowing, compelling narrative.

Watch a 2014 interview with the author of this book here:

Author Bio

Nancy Koester has taught religion and church history atLuther Seminary, St. Paul, and at Augsburg College,Minneapolis. An ordained Lutheran minister and a spiritualdirector, she has also written Journeying through Lentwith Luke and Fortress Introduction to theHistory of Christianity in the United States.

Endorsements

The daughter, sister, and wife of prominent clergymen and theologians, Harriet Beecher Stowe outshone them all in her impact on American religion and reform. Her life and work were framed by a spiritual quest that led from her ancestral Calvinism to high-church Episcopalianism and even spiritualism. Nancy Koester's lucid narrative and penetrating analysis carry the reader along unfailingly on this fascinating quest.
-James M. McPherson,
Pulitzer Prize winner for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was in her lifetime the most famous and influential woman in the United States, bar none. But she has been largely forgotten today. Nancy Koester's comprehensive biography brings Stowe's personal story to life for a new generation while re-creating the fierce religious and cultural battles that inspired her to write the Great American Novel that helped turn the course of American history.
-Debby Applegate,
Pulitzer Prize winner for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher

An accessible and absorbing interpretive biography...Koester engagingly and intelligently discusses each major novel, each family crisis, each journey, and each spiritual change, including a fluctuating interest in spiritualism after the deaths of two of [Stowe's] sons, without a whiff of academic fustiness. A top-notch read.
-Booklist (starred review)

Editorial Reviews

James M. McPherson
— Pulitzer Prize winner for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
"The daughter, sister, and wife of prominent clergymen and theologians, Harriet Beecher Stowe outshone them all in her impact on American religion and reform. Her life and work were framed by a spiritual quest that led from her ancestral Calvinism to high-church Episcopalianism and even spiritualism. Nancy Koester’s lucid narrative and penetrating analysis carry the reader along unfailingly on this fascinating quest."

Debby Applegate
Pulitzer Prize winner for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
"It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was in her lifetime the most famous and influential woman in the United States, bar none. But she has been largely forgotten today. Nancy Koester’s comprehensive biography brings Stowe’s personal story to life for a new generation while re-creating the fierce religious and cultural battles that inspired her to write the Great American Novel that helped turn the course of American history."

Booklist (starred review)
"An accessible and absorbing interpretive biography. . . . Koester engagingly and intelligently discusses each major novel, each family crisis, each journey, and each spiritual change, including a fluctuating interest in spiritualism after the deaths of two of [Stowe’s] sons, without a whiff of academic fustiness. A top-notch read."

Anglican and Episcopal History
"Koester’s study provides a model analysis of life-long growth in faith and grace."

Presbyterian History
"Presents readers with a woman who used what she had in skills and position to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. Readers will be rewarded for reading this biography."

Journal of Southern History 
"Koester’s often intimate portrait of Stowe’s spirituality is both engagingly and clearly written . . . . General audiences interested in Stowe’s religious life will likely enjoy Koester’s account of Stowe’s spiritual journey and learn something about nineteenth-century American history in the process."

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