A historical novel set in 18th-century New England, this novel explores New England history, highlights the issue of slavery, and critiques the Calvinist theology in which Stowe was raised. Due to similarities in setting, comparisons are often drawn between this work and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850). However, in contrast to Hawthorne's work, The Minister's Wooing is a "sentimental romance"; its central plot revolves around courtship and marriage. Moreover, Stowe's exploration of the regional history of New England deals primarily with the domestic sphere, the New England response to slavery, and the psychological impact of the Calvinist doctrines of predestination and disinterested benevolence.
The author has endeavoured in this story to paint a style of
life and manners which existed in New England in the earlier
days of her national existence.
Some of the principal characters are historic: the leading
events of the story are founded on actual facts, although the
author has taken the liberty to arrange and vary them for
the purposes of the story.
The author has executed the work with a reverential tenderness
for those great and religious minds who laid in New
England the foundations of many generations, and for those
institutions and habits of life from which, as from a fruitful
germ, sprang all the present prosperity of America.
Such as it is, it is commended to the kindly thoughts of that
British fireside from which the fathers and mothers of America
first went out to give to English ideas and institutions a
new growth in a new world.
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