"The author was spending some weeks with a party of choice and very dear friends, on an excursion to southern Italy. Nothing could have been more fabulously and dreamily bright and beautiful than the whole time thus employed. Naples, Sorrento, Salerno, Pæstum, Pompeii, are names of enchantment which will never fade from the remembrance of any of that party. At Salerno, within a day's ride of Pæstum, the whole company were detained by a storm for a day and a night. The talents of the whole company were called in requisition to make the gloomy evening pass pleasantly with song and jest and story. The first chapters of this story were there written and read, to the accompanying dash of the Mediterranean. The plan of the whole future history was then sketched out. Whether it ever find much favor in the eyes of the world or not, sure it is, the story was a child of love in its infancy, and its flowery Italian cradle rocked it with an indulgent welcome."
Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and author. She came from a famous religious family and is best known for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852).