Hannah More: The First Victorian

Paperback | September 15, 2004

byAnne Stott

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Hannah More (1745-1833), the daughter of an obscure schoolmaster, began her working life as a teacher at her sisters' school in Bristol. In her thirtieth year she came to London to persuade the actor-manager David Garrick to put on one of her plays. Her subsequent career as playwright,bluestocking, Evangelical reformer, political writer, and novelist turned her into one of the most influential women of her day. Few of either sex could rival the range of her achievements. This book is the first full-length biography of More for fifty years and the first to make extensive use of her unpublished correspondence. The new material shows her to have been a more lively and attractive character than previous stereotypes have suggested. It also reinforces the growingperception that she was a complex and contradictory figure: a conservative who was accused of political and religious subversion, an ostensible antifeminist who opened up new opportunities for female activism. Recent work on the Georgian period indicates that, in spite of their exclusion from formal power, women played a vital role in the ordering of politics and society. The remarkable career of Hannah More adds weight to the argument that women (notwithstanding the repressive rhetoric of the conductbooks) were increasingly active outside the allegedly private sphere of the home. More's long life began just before the last Jacobite rising, and ended at the dawn of the railway age. This book argues that she should be viewed as essentially forward-looking. When one of her early biographers dedicated his book to the young Queen Victoria, it was a fitting tribute to More'ssignificance. In her energetic campaigning, her moral fervour, her belief in Britain's providential destiny, Hannah More anticipated many of the characteristics of Victorianism. She was one of the creators of the new age.

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From the Publisher

Hannah More (1745-1833), the daughter of an obscure schoolmaster, began her working life as a teacher at her sisters' school in Bristol. In her thirtieth year she came to London to persuade the actor-manager David Garrick to put on one of her plays. Her subsequent career as playwright,bluestocking, Evangelical reformer, political write...

Anne Stott is at Associate Lecturer, Open University, and Sessional Lecturer, Birkbeck College, London.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:420 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.95 inPublished:September 15, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199274886

ISBN - 13:9780199274888

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Table of Contents

1. Bristol Beginnings 1745-17742. The Garrick Years 1774-17793. Living Muse 1780-17854. Zion's City 1780-17895. The Mendip Schools 1789-17956. Revolution and Counter-Revolution 1789-17937. The Greeks and the Barbarians 1794-17988. The Cheap Repository Tracts 1795-17989. The Emergence of Clapham 1795-179910. Praise and Opposition 1798-179911. The Blagdon Controversy 1799-180312. The Princess and the Bachelor 1801-c.180913. High Priestess 1809-181614. 'Loyal and Anti-Radical female' 1816-1833ConclusionChronology of Hannah More's Life and WritingsBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Anne Stott is to be commended not only for painting a balanced picture of Hannah More but for making so much of her period and her contemporaries come alive to a modern readership'Catholic Herald