In previous posts in my Hacking Abolition blog series, I explored the impetus behind Hannah More's entrance into writing about the transatlantic slave trade. One tactic she used was appealing to emotion by highlighting the great injustice of slavery against fellow human beings. However, she didn't leave it at that. More consciously made a move beyond emotion. This post explores why.
For Hannah More, slavery was sin. The acknowledgement of evil and humanity's propensity to harm others shaped her view of why slavery existed in the first place. In Part 3 of my exploration of Hacking Abolition, I look at the origin and advent of More's poem Slavery which jolted the British Empire and pushed readers at the highest levels of influence of society, to look in the mirror and look at the heart of the slave trade.
If we aim to "hack" the original abolition movement in order to move the needle toward the end of modern-day slavery, then understanding how the original movement thought and approached their work will be helpful. Hannah More, the playwright, poet, essayist and moral reformist helps us here. Part 2 in Hacking Abolition, a blog series about her life, impact and what we can learn.
Here is the full list of resources that I consulted in my MA thesis research on the writing life and impact of poet, playwright, essayist and moral reformer Hannah More: Works Cited Carey, Brycchan. “To Force a Tear: British Abolitionism and the Eighteenth-century London Stage.” Affect and Abolition in the Anglo-Atlantic, 1770-1830, edited by Stephen Ahern, Ashgate Publishing, 2013, pp 109-28. “Cat o’nine tails.” Understanding Slavery Initiative, www.understandingslavery.com/in dex.php-option=com_content&view=article&id=532_cat-onine-tails&catid=145_atlantic- crossing&Itemid=255.html. Accessed 18 July 2018. Christian Observer (1805) Accessed: University Microfilms. Index to American Periodicals of the 1800's: Keyed to University Microfilms APS II. Computer Indexed Systems, Indianapolis, 1989. Demers, Patricia. “Hannah More’s Public Voice in Georgian Britain.” Women, Morality and Advice Literature Manuscripts and Rare Printed Works of Hannah More (1745-1833) ...
The contemporary abolition movement has conjured up from history in order to retrace the steps toward the monumental goal to end slavery, in order to learn from the successes of the past. One towering figure is Hannah More, the playwright, poet, essayist and moral reformist. Part 1 in Hacking Abolition, a blog series about her life, impact and what we can learn.