Introduction to British Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
London: Thomas Bosworth, 1852


  THE Publisher thinks it right to state, that the Authoress of "UNCLE TOM'S CABIN" has a direct interest in the sale of this Edition; and he trusts that this fact, together with the superior typography of the volume, and the lowness of the price, will be considered as giving it a higher claim to general patronage than is possessed by any other Edition published in this country.

  August 14th, 1852.

  Since the above was written, the Publisher has had the honour to receive a letter from Mrs. STOWE, in reply to one from him, offering her a royalty on every copy of this edition that might be sold. The following passages are extracted from it:—

  "I most cheerfully accede to your very liberal pro-


posal, and I derive much pleasure from the generous and honourable state of feeling which it indicates, than from any amount of pecuniary remuneration which it proffers.

  "A few more such examples on both sides of the water might more powerfully than any other thing tend to move public sentiment to a just arrangement of copyright laws.

  "I have forwarded your letter for publication to an editor of one of our most widely circulated prints, accompanied with some remarks intended to stir up American publishers to similar liberality and good faith.

  "I enclose a few remarks, which, if you please, you can give to the public as the Author's Preface to the English Edition.

  "I shall forward in a few days a corrected copy which I am preparing for a large Pictorial Edition which is being issued here. The book has already had a sale in this country of 120,000, and the demand is still unabated."

  The following letter to the "New York Tribune" is that alluded to above:—"

"Brunswick, Maine, Sept. 12, 1852.

"Mr. Greeley,—I have received the subjoined letter from an English publisher, and it struck me as so truly noble in


its spirit that I have enclosed it for publication. I wish very much that you would make some remarks upon it, in answer to the following questions?—
"1. Have any American publishers shown a similar liberality with regard to English Authors?
"2. Is there, or is there not, a truth in the sentiment of the author of this letter, that the imperfect state of our copyright law does not alter the right of the thing, nor make it just for a publisher to avail himself of an author's talents for his own purposes without offering him a fair remuneration?
"3. Might a man honourably and justly seize on another's estate, because some legal imperfection in the title allowed him to do so? and is it any better to seize on the avails of his talents?
"It has seemed to me that a spontaneous adherence to simple honour and justice on both sides of the water might go far towards revoking the national injustice of copyright laws.

"Yours, very truly, H. B. STOWE.

  The above extracts, as far as they relate to the law of copyright, are given here because the Publisher believes that, coming from so popular a writer as Mrs. Stowe, they will have the effect of calling public attention to the subject. And they are by no means out of place in this book. At least 250,000 copies of it have already been sold in this country. The matter of the book is the property of Mrs. Stowe, by the highest possible title to


possession,—that of creation. And this right, and in fact all interest in and control over the publication of the work in this country, is denied to its Author by the Copyright Laws of Great Britain and the United States as they at present stand; and what in any other case would be considered a direct robbery is thus tacitly permitted.

October 13th, 1852.