This is a novel book. The following letters were written by Mrs. Stowe for her own personal friends, particularly the members of her own family, and mainly as the transactions referred to in them occurred. During the tour in England and Scotland, frequent allusions are made to public meetings held on her account; but no report is made of the meetings, because that information, was given fully in the newspapers sent to her friends with the letters. Some knowledge of the general tone and spirit of the meetings seems necessary, in order to put the readers of the letters in as favorable a position to appreciate them as her friends were when they were received. Such knowledge it is the object of this introductory chapter to furnish.