STOWE, Harriet Beecher (1811-1896). Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly. Boston: John P. Jewett & Company and Cleveland, Ohio: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852.
2 vols, 8o. Both titles with engraved vignettes, 6 engraved plates. IN THE RARE "EXTRA-GILT" BINDING (BAL Binding C): original dark blue cloth ornately blocked in gilt, front and back covers with large gilt vignettes (matching those on the titlepages), borders and cornerpieces blocked in gilt, spine elaborately gilt-stamped, ALL EDGES GILT (extremely minor rubbing, skilfully recased, new headbands, endpapers). Half green morocco protective slipcase.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING. With the Hobart & Robbins slug on verso of title page. IN THE RARE "EXTRA-GILT" BINDING. Stowe's dramatic narrative amassed a huge following when it appeared, in serial form, in the National Era magazine between 5 June 1851 and 1 April 1852. But when John P. Jewett published it in book form in 1852, it became a national and then an international sensation, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United States alone in the first year of publication. Stowe exploded the Southern myth of benevolent masters and contented slaves. It is, after all, the thoroughly good-hearted and well-intentioned master Arthur Shelby, whose actions set the tragic plot in motion when his debts force him to sell Tom and break up his family. Not even the most benevolent master, Stowe showed, could mitigate the damage and corruption wrought by a system that permitted the buying and selling of human beings. BAL 19343; Grolier American 61; Grolier English 183; Printing and the Mind of Man 332.
Harry J. Sonneborn (sale, Sotheby Park Bernet, 19 June 19, 1980, lot 267).