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Visiting Uncle Tom's Cabin: Harriet and other Women Writers

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House (map)

Celebrate Women's History Month by observing how Harriet and two of her literary friends, Fanny Fern and Sarah Orne Jewett, used short pieces to address the everyday lives of 19th century women. Though often treated as second-class by male authors, the three were part of a strong network of women writing in the second half of the 19th century. Co-lead by Dr. John Getz, Professor Emeritus, XU and Dr. Kristen Renzi, XU Assistant Professor of English, poet and a specialist in Transatlantic literature from the 19th century to the present, in women’s literature, and feminist theory. $5 suggested donation, FREE for HBSH members

About Fanny Fern (Sara Willis Parton):
Although she was the same age as Harriet, Sara was her student at Hartford Female Seminary and grew up to become a 19th-century Erma Bombeck, who wrote funny and often socially satiric newspaper columns that were reprinted in her book Fern Leaves from Fanny’s Port-Folio (1853) and later volumes. She was also a reform-minded investigative journalist and novelist.

About Sarah Orne Jewett:
A doctor’s daughter from rural Maine, she was part of the next generation of authors, looked up to Stowe, and became her friend late in Stowe’s life. Jewett paid that friendship forward by befriending and inspiring the young Willa Cather.

Suggested reading:
(Links at
Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The Minister’s Housekeeper”
Fanny Fern, “Aunt Hetty on Matrimony”
Fanny Fern, “Hungry Husbands,” p. 273
Fanny Fern, “Henry Ward Beecher, “ p. 285
Fanny Fern, “Male Criticism on Ladies’ Books”
Fanny Fern, “Independence”
Sarah Orne Jewett, “Miss Peck’s Promotion”
Sarah Orne Jewett, “The Town Poor”

Earlier Event: March 5
Cincy Stories
Later Event: March 9
Laughs at Taft's w/ Kristen Toomey