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Hannah More

(1745-1833 / England)

Biography of Hannah More

Hannah More (2 February 1745 – 7 September 1833) was an English religious writer, Romantic and philanthropist. She can be said to have made three reputations in the course of her long life: as a poet and playwright in the circle of Johnson, Reynolds and Garrick, as a writer on moral and religious subjects, and as a practical philanthropist.

Born in 1745 at Fishponds in the parish of Stapleton, near Bristol, Hannah More was the fourth of five daughters of Jacob More, a schoolmaster originally from Harleston, Norfolk. He was from a strong Presbyterian family in Norfolk, but had become a member of the Church of England, and originally intended to pursue a career in the Church, but after the disappointment of losing a lawsuit over an estate he had hoped to inherit, he moved to Bristol, where he became an excise officer and was later appointed teacher at the Fishponds free school.

They were a close family and the sisters were first educated by their father, learning Latin and mathematics: Hannah was also taught by her elder sisters, through whom she learned French. She was keen to learn, and possessed a sharp intellect - she was assiduous in studying and, according to family tradition, began writing at an early age.

In 1758 Jacob established his own girls' boarding school at Trinity Street in Bristol for the elder sisters, Mary and Elizabeth to run, while he and his wife moved to Stony Hill in the city to open a school for boys. More became a pupil when she was twelve years old, and taught at the school in her early adulthood.

Hannah More's Works:

* Collingwood, Jeremy and Margaret. Hannah More. Oxford: Lion Publishing, 1990.
* Demers, Patricia. The World of Hannah More. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996.
* Ford, Charles Howard. Hannah More: A Critical Biography. New York: Peter Lang, 1996.
* Harland, Marion. Hannah More. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1900.
* Hopkins, Mary Alden. Hannah More and Her Circle. London: Longmans, 1947.
* Jones, M. G. Hannah More Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952.
* Knight, Helen C. Hannah More; or, Life in Hall and Cottage. New York: M. W. Dodd, 1851.
* Kowaleski-Wallace, Elizabeth. Their Fathers’ Daughters: Hannah More, Maria Edgeworth, and Patriarchal Complicity. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
* Roberts, William, ed. Memoirs of Mrs Hannah More. New York: Harper & Bros., 1836.
* Stott, Anne. Hannah More: The First Victorian. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
* Taylor, Thomas. Memoir of Mrs. Hannah More. London: Joseph Rickerby, 1838.
* Thompson, Henry. The Life of Hannah More With Notices of Her Sisters. London: T. Cadell, 1838.
* Yonge, Charlotte. Hannah More. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1888.

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A Christmas Hymn

O now wondrous is the story
Of our blest Redeemer's birth?
See the mighty Lord of Glory
Leaves his heaven to visit earth!

Hear with transport, every creature,
Hear the Gospel's joyful sound;
Christ appears in human nature,
In our sinful world is found;

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