Joan D. Hedrick, "Stowe, Harriet Beecher," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-01582.html.
Always controversial, Stowe fell into disrepute in the latter half of the nineteenth century. When literature became professionalized and more formal, aesthetic standards of art prevailed, and Stowe's passion and finely honed rhetoric were judged "melodramatic" and "sentimental." Her strongly marked characters, particularly Uncle Tom, were seen as stereotypes, an impression increased by the minstrel darkies of the "Tom shows" that continued into the twentieth century. Her reputation rose again in the wake of the the women's movement of the 1970s. Uncle Tom's Cabin continues to be read around the world for its principled defense of the lowly and oppressed.