More, Hannah. An Estimate of the Religion of the Fashionable World. London. Printed for T. Cadel in the Strand. 1797. 261pp.
An important work and counterpart to William Wilberforce’s Practical View. Already close personal friends with John Newton, by 1787, she had become a regular correspondent and compatriot to Wilberforce himself. She authored poems on slavery with each new bill he introduced; in many ways, the call to evangelical revival among the elite of society and the abolition of slavery was a dance with two partners; Wilberforce in the masculine and More in the feminine.
Bishop Horne and others urged her to believe that society would change with the elite experienced spiritual and moral renewal. She was encouraged to pick up her pen and use her voice to exhort in this direction, which she did in the present work. While the work was formally well-received and went through five editions rather quickly, it was also burned at Westminster and she was crucified as a killjoy and do-gooder behind closed doors. She was also “put in her place” for using her feminine voice to rebuke society, thinking that her being a lady would protect her from ridicule. It cost her dearly, and More vowed from then on to work from the bottom up, with slaves and orphans and prostitutes and the poor.
It would be a fascinating study to see what traces we can find of renewal among the fashionable as a result. We doubt it was without its impact.
A superbly preserved copy in small 8vo format, full original tree calf with neatly contrasting label. Text as crisp and clean as the day it was produced. An organic copy from the estate of the sort of family its recipient had in mind.
This copy owned by Rev. Thomas Brown of Dalkieth, son of the famed John Brown of Haddington.