New England Beginnings: 1811–1816

Joan D. Hedrick

in Harriet Beecher Stowe

Published in print July 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096392
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854288 | DOI:
New England Beginnings: 1811–1816

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This chapter discusses the beginnings of the Beecher family in Litchfield, New England. Like much of her writing, Litchfield bears the strong stamp of geography and local culture. In contrasting ways, Lyman Beecher and Roxana Beecher, Harriet Beecher's parents embodied important spirits of the age. Roxana died at a young age and 19th-century readers of Uncle Tom's Cabin would have recognized in Stowe's depiction of the death of Eva this distinctively Protestant liturgy. Combining the prophetic intensity of her father with the literary and cultural heritage of her mother, Harriet Beecher Stowe fused the best of her paternal and maternal heritage. She transformed the role of the angel in the house from a purely self-denying (and ultimately fatal) script into one in which she was a facilitator of and minister to the spirits of others.

Keywords: Litchfield; Lyman Beecher; Roxana Beecher; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Protestant liturgy; New England

Chapter.  3577 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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