Hannah More: The Artist as Reformer

Author: Mary Anne Phemister


Hannah More (1745–1833), a woman of incredible moral courage, was probably the most influential female writer of her time. Yet most of us have never even heard of her.

Born in obscurity, Hannah died leaving nearly £30,000 to her charities—today’s equivalent of nearly $2,000,000—an unequaled amount for a woman writer two hundred years ago. Her artful writings changed hearts, prevented a revolution in England, and paved the way for other Christian women writers. The one novel she penned outsold Jane Austen’s in her lifetime. She challenged the moral evils of slavery and played a major role in the abolition of the slave trade.

Yet, remarkably, for two centuries Hannah More was largely overlooked by historians, until in 2007 Great Britain recognized her significant humanitarian achievements as an abolitionist, educator, and philanthropist, issuing a postage stamp in her honor for the 200th anniversary of the milestone Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. The same year, her character appeared in the popular film about abolitionist William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace.

Now author Mary Anne Phemister revives the compelling story of this inspirational heroine. Her thoroughly researched and highly readable biography recounts the story of what this lively Christian playwright, poet, novelist, and tract writer accomplished despite the restrictions placed on women in her day.

Author Bio

Born in China to missionary parents, Mary Anne Phemister earned her nursing degree from Columbia University, New York. She also authored 32 Wheaton Notables: Their Stories and Where they Lived; Lessons from a Broken Chopstick: A memoir; and co-authored Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C. S. Lewis. She travels widely to speak and to research her subjects. Mary Anne and her husband, Bill, live in Carol Stream, Illinois.

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