The Minister's Wooing
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The Minister's Wooing

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  18 reviews
From the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a domestic comedy that examines slavery, Protestant theology, and gender differences in early America. First published in 1859, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s third novel is set in eighteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, a community known for its engagement in both religious piety and the slave trade. Mary Scudder lives in a modest farmhous...more
Paperback, 349 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Penguin Classics (first published 1859)
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This one is definately in the top ten for me. I love this book and will continue to reread it throughout my life, when I need to feel connected and valued and not alone as a women and mother. Stowe is magical in her ability to elevate the ordinary woman in this tale. Stowe gives the power to the woman and her brave ability to be personal. She reminds us that "where theorists and philosophers tread with sublime arrurance, women often follow with bleeding footsteps - women are always turning from...more
I first read this book about the time I was newly engaged, and is about as close to a romance novel as I could possibly enjoy. It is a very thoughtful narrative on theology (predestination vs need for evangelism), the evils of slavery, 18th century New England culture, and romance. It gives great insight into the expectations put on women in that culture. I loved this book and reread it every few years to remind myself that women like Beecher Stowe are brilliant company and cause me to want to t...more
Feb 28, 2011 Lobstergirl rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Charlie Sheen
Shelves: fiction
This historical fiction (published in 1859 but set in 18th century Newport, Rhode Island) mixes invented characters with real personages such as the abolitionist Puritan minister Samuel Hopkins and Aaron Burr. Stowe has a biting, sardonic wit, which is timeless, but her beatific protagonist Mary Scudder is too perfect to be enjoyed, somewhat like Jane Austen's Fanny Price, and the many self-consciously metafictional "dear reader" asides are a little wearing. The story of a young woman tortured b...more
I read this book for a class, and I wrote a paper on it, so given the research I've done, I think it helped me like the book more than I would have otherwise. It's kind of a long book, but it really has some interesting insights into early feminism and religious ideas. I love Stowe, so I can't help but like her books. My overall recommendation: Modern readers might not love the book.
Sarah Sammis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathi Olsen
For a book that is sort of historical fiction, it is ok. In some ways, I enjoyed the introduction better than the story. She refers to the book as a comedy, but for 19th century writing, that just means everything turns out ok. I learned more about Calvinism than I knew before. I did enjoy much of the story, but the author tended to go off on tangents (reminding me of the 1500 pg version of Les Miz)and I wanted her to get back to the story. Glad i read it, don't think I would reread.
Like Stowe's more famous and influential "Uncle Tom's Cabin," this novel touches on the immorality of slavery. Here Stowe approaches slavery through a New England perspective, setting her tale in Newport, Rhode Island (a prime slave trading port)in the years after the American Revolution, with implications for the changing role of women within American society. Indeed, the heart of the story revolves around a marriage plot and the the question of what constitutes the proper marriage of Christian...more
Holly Weiss
Written in 1859, the comedy is an interesting examination of slave trade, Calvinism (Jonathan Edwards), Puritan abolitionist Samuel Hopkins, and the role of women in 19th century Newport, RI (where we will vacation soon). The tendency to digress off plot (typical of 19th century writing) interrupts the flow, but the book is a satisfying read.
Oct 31, 2008 Ashley rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 19th Century Literature Fans
Not near as intense as her more popular Uncle Tom's Cabin. However, I'd say this book is vastly underrated. Stowe's examination into the problems of Calvinism, slavery, and the role of women in American society are insightful. Stowe offers one of the very few sympathetic critiques of Puritanism. Since Uncle Tom's Cabin was so intense I figured this book would be as well. While not as radical, Stowe still manages to "stick it to the man" and be rather unconventional in the process. Beware of the...more
Good. I would have liked it more if I didn't have to rush through it over the course of a week, but it was good. Not deadly dull like some of my other readings for American Lit. Discuss-able themes on religion and conversion and abolitionism and New England life. Fun, if very stock, characters.

However, nobody seems to know about this book. It's not even on the Gutenberg Project. Everything is on Gutenberg. Except this.
Everyone talks about Uncle Tom. Well, this one was a shorter and simpler story to start with. Stowe has a good grasp of many things and, when she doesn't, manages to convey the importance of old social mores. It definitely made me want to go back to my American roots. I like the importance that she gives women, but Alcott does a better job of conveying something other than the cookie cutter role that they have to play.
I really enjoyed the Minister's Wooing. The plot was predictable, but so sweetly done. Stowe has a sly sense of humor that I like, and she provides wonderful descriptions of the place of religion in daily life in the post Revolutionary Era. She was also remarkably generous about the salvation of Catholics.
It was a very good book by a talented woman writer from the 1800s. The descriptions were spot-on and funny in many places. The issues it discusses are still current today. An enjoyable book.
Peter Wolfley
A real rah rah book for the ladies. If your woman ego needs a boost this book is for you. There is some good marriage advice but overall the characters are just too unreal to be enjoyable or moving.
I would give it three and half stars.

Stowe has a way of making life seem musical and writing about it in a way that is not too cheesey. I liked that.
READ THIS! READ THIS! READ THIS! I will add a review in the near future, but until then, read this!
Sep 21, 2012 TJ rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: classics
Really tried to like tried and tried but just couldn't get into it
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Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American author and abolitionist, whose novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) attacked the cruelty of slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential, even in Britain. It made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North. It anger...more
More about Harriet Beecher Stowe...
Uncle Tom's Cabin Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp The Pearl of Orr's Island: A Story of the Coast of Maine Three Novels : Uncle Tom's Cabin Or, Life Among the Lowly/The Minister's Wooing/Oldtown Folks (Library of America #4) Pink and white tyranny. A society novel

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