One of the best books that I read in 2014 was Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More, Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior (@LoveLifeLitGod). A professor at Liberty University, Prior told Hannah More’s life story masterfully.
What stood out to me was that More was a champion of the poor, the downtrodden, the despised of society. While battling numerous illnesses during her life, she joined William Wilberforce and others to help abolish slavery in England. One of her most famous poems, called Slavery, written in 1788, called for the abolition of slavery.
While she is known for reforming slavery, she was also an advocate for literacy. She opened Sunday Schools where the poor were taught to read and hear about Jesus.
I marked some favorite quotes in the book. Here are a few of them.
“Her goal when she taught Bible stories was for her students to see Christ walking on the waters of the river Thames.” (27)
“Bible Christianity is what I love. A Christianity practical and pure, which teaches holiness, humility, repentance and faith in Christ; and which after summing up all the Evangelical graces, declares that the greatest of these is charity.” (155-156)
“For Hannah, life was a feast, and the space at her table was abundant.” (169)
“Her continued influence as a writer, and now in her later decades, as a philanthropist and spiritual mentor to many, led the Christian Observer to write of her, ‘What Wilberforce was among men, Hannah More was among women.’” (240)
“She was a woman with virtues and flaws, faith and fears, vision and blind spots. But she was also one whose unique gifts and fierce convictions transformed first her life and subsequently her world and ours.” (253)
This is a book that I will recommend for years and will keep in stock at the bookstore.