Hannah More



Hannah More was an English religious writer and philanthropist. She was the second youngest of five sisters, and her father, Jacob More, was a schoolmaster at Stapleton in Gloucestershire. More attended her father's school as a child and began writing plays when she was just 17 years old. Her first sold more than 10,000 copies by 1785. A failed engagement at 22 proved bittersweet--she lost a husband, but gained a £200 annuity for the inconvenience. The financial independence gave her time to write and she eventually became friends with the literary elite of her day, including figures like Elizabeth Montagu, Joshua Reynolds, Edmund Burke, and Samuel Johnson. More continued to write plays, poetry, essays, and fiction, and published regularly. She gradually became more religious, and more socially minded in her writing, and eventually became associated with evangelicals like William Wilberforce and Zachary Macaulay. If sheer volume is a measure of greatness, then her most successful works were a run of inexpensive Repository Tracts which she produced with her sisters in the 1790's. The most famous was titled "The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain," and more than two million copies were printed in several languages. She was famous for her commentary on society, piety, and morality, including her stand against slavery. In addition to writing, More was instrumental in setting up several schools and became a model for philanthropists all over England. She died in Clifton in 1833.

(Compiled by Nicholas Castellano)

See also

Essays by Hannah More

On the danger of sentimental or romantic connexions

Young people never shew their folly and ignorance more conspicuously, than by this over-confidence in their own judgment, and this haughty disdain of the opinion of those who have known more days.

On dissipation

The love of dissipation is, I believe, allowed to be the reigning evil of the present day.

On education

Let the graces be industriously cultivated, but let them not be cultivated at the expense of the virtues.

On envy

It is the unhappy nature of envy not to be contented with positive misery, but to be continually aggravating its own torments, by comparing them with the felicities of others.

Miscellaneous observations on genius, taste, good sense, &c.

A capacity for relishing works of genius is the indubitable sign of a good taste.

Thoughts on conversation

Of all the qualifications for conversation, humility, if not the most brilliant, is the safest, the most amiable, and the most feminine.

On true and false meekness

We are perpetually mistaking the qualities and dispositions of our own hearts. We elevate our failings into virtues, and qualify our vices into weaknesses: and hence arise so many false judgments respecting meekness.
Patrick Madden's New Book
Quotidiana by Patrick Madden

Join Us on Facebook
facebook logo