Uncle Tom's Cabin sold more copies worldwide in the 19th century than any other book except the BibleThis stoneware jug has a Britannia metal lid and was probably used for beer. It was made by the Staffordshire factory of Ridgway and Abington around 1858.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852 and became an instant best seller. The American writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe, set out to raise awareness and sympathy for the plight of slaves in the southern USA, especially the way families could be broken up and sold. The young mother, Eliza, runs away to save her child but Uncle Tom sees it as his Christian duty to obey his master. His faith and goodness are an inspiration to many but he is eventually murdered by the vicious slave-owner Simon Legree. The book aroused a storm of protest and encouraged popular support for the abolition of slavery. During the American Civil War (1861-65) the slavery issue helped to keep Britain from supporting the South, with women and 'wage slaves' showing great solidarity.
Uncle Tom's Cabin sold more copies worldwide in the 19th century than any other book except the Bible