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Who’s She? Hannah More

A lot of people know William Wilberforce’s name. Many saw a movie (“Amazing Grace“) or read a book or two about his passionate and tireless zeal for the end of human slave trade and were appropriately moved. But very few have heard of an unsung heroine named Hannah More, the author of the many tracts and pamphlets used by Wilberforce and the other abolitionists. As the only female member of the Clapham Sect, the group that was the epicenter of the movement, she quietly wrote the words that slowly, eventually helped awaken an nation, and ultimately the world, to the atrocity of human slavery.

Just hours ago, I was reintroduced to More. My colleague Bronwyn Lea sent me a review she posted tonight on another of our writing colleagues’ (Karen Swallow Prior) books on Hannah More: Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist (Thomas Nelson, 2014), which made its debut about a week ago.

I could not keep either from you because

  1. Prior has written what looks to be a lush biography of Hannah More’s life and involvement with the abolitionist movement in England through writing and other strengths.  Prior highlights these contributions, but makes us aware that More did much, much more (sorry – couldn’t resist, even though this is a serious post). The book’s trailer calls her a woman “whose faith compelled her to both engage her culture and transform it,” and “woman writer who helped end the slave trade and taught a nation how to read.” Whether you’re a woman or a man, you will probably realize, after reading this post and hopefully the biography, that we all owe a debt of gratitude to her, along with a great deal of honor and respect for her writing, along with her courage, resilience, and ingenuity on behalf of education for the poor and in other arenas.
  2. And why through Bronwyn’s post? Why not just a direct link to the book? Well, first because I haven’t read it yet. I just learned about it hours ago, as I mentioned. But second, and more importantly, I wanted to introduce you to Bronwyn’s writing. This post is not “amazing”; it’s rather bread-and-butter: a book review. Meh? Not really. It still shows Bronwyn’s amazing facility for the distillation of large ideas and concepts, particularly when it comes to complex and often emotional issues. Just as I am typically inspired after reading Bronwen’s writing on just about any topic you might name, after reading her post on More, I instantly decided upon inaugurating an ongoing series of posts to highlight and bring attention to unsung folk, with women being my primary focus, who have effected change for all of humanity and for the Gospel of Christ. And so, her post bringing attention to Prior’s biography of Hannah More graces the first post in the series.

I encourage you to read the work of both authors – blog posts, articles, and books, especially this book on Hannah More.

Thanks for reading!

To encourage others to read and learn about More, as well as two other Christian authors, feel free to share this image on your FB page or Pinterest board, and please link it to this post (link:

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