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Uncle Tom's cabin : or, Life among the lowly

by Harriet Beecher Stowe; Ann Douglas

  Book : Fiction

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Penguin Edition, edited by Douglas, not reliable   (2007-07-07)

Poor

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by Wesley Raabe

My "1 - Poor" rating applies only to the Penguin edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin. The Penguin edition, edited by Ann Douglas, has a high rate of transcription error. So it is not suitable for serious study.I listed a selection (over 100) of the transcription errors in the Penguin edition for a presentation at the 2007 American Literature Association conference. For example, the Penguin edition on page 619 (in the 4 copies that I've examined) has the following line:'If the laws of New England were so arranged that a master could [it]now and then[/it] torture an apprentice to death, would it be received with equal composure?'In the 1852 Jewett edition, the first printing in book form, the sentence included an additional clause:'If the laws of New England were so arranged that a master could [it]now and then[/it] torture an apprentice to death, without a possibility of being brought to justice, would it be received with equal composure?'This startling error--the omission of 'without a possibility of being brought to justice'--diminishes a key theme in Stowe's work. I encourage scholars, teachers, and students to purchase Ammons's or Sklar's editions of UTC. Among editions that I've examined, those editions have more reliable texts. I have not examined the new Bedford edition (Railton) or the new Norton edition (Gates and Robbins).My review is intended to encourage Penguin to publish a corrected edition.


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