Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in Boston in 1852, instantly became a phenomenal bestseller in Europe as well as in the USA. This article inquires into the book history of translated fiction in Norway between 1814 and 1857, with P.T. Malling’s edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s epoch-making novel (1852–1853) in a pivotal position. Translated novels were indeed scarce before Malling’s bold enterprise, this sector of the book market being dominated by titles imported from Denmark. After the successful publishing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Malling ambitiously saw his chance to launch a whole library of contemporary novels in translation, published in the form of a journal (Tidsskrift for Skjønliteratur). Uncle Tom’s Cabin, then, may be argued to have contributed to a significant change in the history of the novel in Norway. Stowe’s religious pamphlet was able to supply the genre with a kind of dignity and prestige it had never had before.
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