Saying Volumes

22 May

How is your reading coming?

Mine?  Compared to my fellow bloggers?  I’m behind.  Way behind.
I just finished chapter XVIII   .  This is the chapter where Ophelia takes Dinah to task and we meet Prue.  We could go on and on discussing Prue (or as I think of her “the woman of sorrow”), but my thoughts are more mundane.  This is the spot where I noticed Volume II starts with chapter XIX.  I guess reading on the kindle I hadn’t “flipped” through the novel like I normally would at the start of book.

So, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is divided into two volumes.  Interesting.

Is anyone else’s copy divided into two volumes?
Does anyone know if this was HBS’s original intent or if some publisher added the divisions later?

And if the volume placement is deliberate on HBS’s part, I’m not sure what she’s trying to say with the division.  I found the end of part one sad and depressing.  Tom tries to share Jesus’ love with Prue, but she rejects it completely.  When telling her about the hope of heaven, Prue says, “I’d rather go to torment, and get away from Mas’r and Missis.”

If the book was broken into two volumes by Stowe, I have to believe it was an intentional decision.
So what was she trying to say?


Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Uncle Tom's Cabin


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10 responses to “Saying Volumes

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    May 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Hmm… interesting. My copy is not divided.

  2. Sandy B.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    That’s interesting — my book isn’t divided into two volumes. I’m guessing it was done by publishers? It doesn’t seem like a logical division in the plot….

  3. Norma Carey

    May 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Mine copy is not divided. But in the 22 page introduction, included are reviews of the book and an anonymous reviewer in the London Times (Sept. 1852) observes…surely there is something more real and substantial in Mrs. Stowe’s volumes to account for their extraordinary popularity….(As you can tell I am not quoting the entire review but noticed the word “volumes”)

  4. Fanda

    May 23, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I read the Indonesian translation, but from what I browsed, I have never met UTC in two volumes. And I think UTC is not quite bulk to be divided into 2 volumes. Maybe it’s just the publisher’s strategy?

  5. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    May 23, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Here’s what I found on Wikipedia:

    “Uncle Tom’s Cabin first appeared as a 40-week serial in National Era, an abolitionist periodical, starting with the June 5, 1851, issue. Because of the story’s popularity, the publisher John Jewett contacted Stowe about turning the serial into a book. While Stowe questioned if anyone would read Uncle Tom’s Cabin in book form, she eventually consented to the request.”

    • Christine

      May 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Interesting. So UTC started as a serial, just like Oliver Twist.

  6. Sarah

    May 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I’m selfishly delighted to see I’m not the only one behind right now. About 3/4 of the way through, a post here had me searching for a passage I didn’t remember and I discovered that the 445 page edition I’d been reading was somewhat abridged (without having the honesty to state that anywhere in the book.) Oh, that pierced my soul and even though I was loving the novel, it made me not feel like continuing. I think I’ll probably read the rest online, but not go back and search for everything I missed. 😦 Sorry for the lamentation. Btw, my copy isn’t divided into volumes.

    • Sandy B.

      May 24, 2012 at 1:24 am

      What a shame! : ( Publishers should be required to print “Abridged” on the cover. I feel for you! But I’m glad you’re going to finish it — it’s definitely worth it.

    • Christine

      May 24, 2012 at 7:17 am

      Oh no! Jeannette’s had a couple of instances where her books have not included all the volumes of a novel (Gulliver’s Travels and Pilgrim’s Progress too, I think). What a bummer! Yes, finish the book online and we’ll all carefully look over our copies for Madame Bovary.

  7. Elizabeth Johnson

    June 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Well, I just got here last night. I’m reading the free Kindle version, and it does note “Volume 2” at Chapter XIX.

    All I know is, I’m just happy to get that far in the book so quickly! It’s much faster reading than I expected.


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