chapter  11
30 Pages

“Too abhorrent to Englishmen to render a representation of it ... acceptable”: Slavery as Seen by British Artists Traveling in America

BySusan P. Casteras

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark Uncle Tom’s Cabin, serialized in 1851 and published in book form the following year, triggered a plethora of responses on multiple levels in both American and British audiences and artists. Beyond book illustrations, artists such as Anna Blunden and Edwin Long were inspired directly by this powerful anti-slavery novel. Each adopted the novel’s title for their paintings (Blunden’s of 1853 in a private collection, Long’s of 1866 at the RussellCotes Museum, Bournemouth) and interpreted little Eva as a young angelic savior, thereby inscribing a highly typical Christian reading of this character.