It took me far too long to read it but towards the end I cantered along and finished the book in the early hours of New Year's Eve. I am so glad that I took up the personal challenge of reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin". It was revelatory - not just in terms of shining a spotlight on some of the horrors of slavery in America's Deep South but also in the way it observes religious belief and the social mores of the mid-nineteenth century.
Unsurprisingly, the central character is an older slave known as Uncle Tom. He is civilised, dependable and kindly. His fervent religious belief allows him to tolerate trouble that might have broken lesser men. However, I found the book's title somewhat inappropriate for the "cabin" does not play a significant role. If I had been Harriet Beecher's Stowe's editor, I might have well suggested a more sardonic title plucked from America's Declaration of Independence. Something like "Created Equal" or "Our Sacred Honour".
The book's language is understandably quite formal and staid given the fact that it appeared in the mid-nineteenth century but I found it very accessible.
There are many moving passages and the author, in spite of her northern and Christian sensibilities, had clearly attempted to the best of her ability to present a true portrait of slavery. She met with Abraham Lincoln and it is often said that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" helped to launch and justify The American Civil War of 1861 to 1865.
Here's a small fragment of Mrs Beecher Stowe's writing:-