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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Hannah More

b. 1745, near Bristol, England; d. 1833, Somerset, England

A prolific and popular writer, Hannah More wrote both fictional prose and critical nonfiction addressing the political concerns of the day. A sampling of her work indicates the range of her topical interests: the plays The Search after Happiness (1762) and the enormously successful Percy (1777), which established her reputation; The Bas Bleu, or Conversation (1784), a poem celebrating the Bluestockings; the abolitionist poem Slavery (1788); Village Politics (1792), a conservative attack on the revolutionary ideas of Tom Paine, which were gaining currency among the working classes; and a series of stories known as the Cheap Repository Tracts (1795–98), which promoted Christian virtues among said working classes. Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education (1799) illustrates More’s strong commitment to women’s rights. In her will, she left to charity the astonishingly large sum of £30,000, a clear indication of her success as a writer.