Female Literary Genre
Hannah More was a prolific and talented poet, playwright,
essayist, and educator. She wrote extensively on female education, adapted
Biblical stories for children, and produced plays, volumes of poetry,
and works of religious piety. More protested throughout her life that
politics was outside a woman's sphere. Yet she nonetheless used conventional
literary genres to participate in public dialogues on many of the great
issues of the day. She wrote in opposition to slavery and in favor of
improved social support for women and the poor, and she developed a program
of religious reading for the lower classes.
Like many women writers of the period, More exploited
conventionally "feminine" genres to disguise exploration of
public and political topics. She was widely read and well respected, and
scholars now acknowledge that her work helped to pave the way for more
progressive liberalism later in the nineteenth century.
Hannah More, 1745-1833. Strictures on the Modern System of Female
Education. London: Printed by A. Strahan, for T. Cadell, 1800.
© 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript
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