"Study to be Quiet": Hannah More and the Invention of Conservative Culture in Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

  • K. Gilmartin

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalEnglish Literary History
DatePublished - Oct 2003
Volume70
Number of pages47
Pages (from-to)493-540
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Although not as widely known and anthologized as Village Politics, Hannah More's 1795 History Of Tom White the Postilion and its sequel, The Way to Plenty, are in many respects more typical of the kind of writing through which her Cheap Repository Tracts (1795-1798) achieved a leading role in the antiradical and antirevolutionary campaigns of the 1790s. For this reason, Tom White can provide a useful preliminary map of More's reactionary fiction, and of the challenge it presents to our understanding of the literary history of Romantic-period Britain, particularly the impact that reactionary movements had upon cultural politics in an age of revolution. The Tom White series is typical, to begin with, in its heterogeneous narrative form (the dialogue of Village Politics is less characteristic of More's work), and in the pressure it brings to bear upon the social world More believed her readers inhabited.

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