STOWE, Harriet Beecher A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which the Story is Founded, Together with Corroborative Statements Verifying the Truth of the Work. London, Clarke, Beeton, and Co., … and Thomas Bosworth, .
8vo. Original blind-stamped sage green cloth, spine lettered and priced in gilt, ornamental advertisement endpapers, printed in turquoise; pp. viii, 508, lithographic facsimile on pages 336 to 338; a near-fine copy.
Second UK edition. This is the companion volume to one of the most influential pieces of 19th-century fiction, giving the evidence that the conditions of slavery are as bad as described in the novel. 'Stowe wrote this book to defend her novel against one of the most wide-spread complaints that pro-slavery critics lodged against it -- that as an account of slavery Uncle Tom's Cabin was wholly false, or at least wildly exaggerated. Thus The Key is organized around that defensive project, taking up her major characters one at a time, for example, to cite real life equivalents to them. At the same time, defending her novel led her to mount a more aggressive attack on slavery in the South than the novel itself had. In the novel she works hard to be sympathetic to white southerners as well as black slaves; here, her prose seems much angrier, both morally and rhetorically more contemptuous. One explanation for this sharper tone could be the novel's reception in the South, where no one seems to have appreciated her attempt to be fair. Stowe was probably unprepared for the South's shrill rejection of the book' (http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/uncletom/key/kyhp.htm). - This is the issue with an appendix on pp. 505-508, set in rather small type, documenting the US government's bias and falsification of statistics concerning slavery.