It’s a shame I had never heard of Hannah More before I read Fierce Convictions, but I’m glad Karen Swallow Prior was the one to introduce her to me.
We learn from her acknowledgments that Dr. Prior’s doctoral dissertation was the seed for this book—and the careful research is obvious in every chapter.
Yet she has also made Hannah More’s story accessible to readers (like me) who don’t read history easily. This book is not just a biography; it is a page-turning, good story for a wide range of readers.
Fierce Convictions can challenge the scholar already knowledgeable about the abolition of Great Britain’s slave trade, and it can engage a 9-year-old girl reading through the book with her mother. (And both scholar and 9-year-old can learn more than a few vocabulary words along the way!)
Taking in More’s story for the first time has not only taught me about a little-known heroine’s immeasurable sway on her nation’s and the world’s history, but it has also opened my eyes even more to the creative ways a single person can influence his or her community.
I was especially impressed at how More used her writing and poetry for cultural impact.
I also appreciate how Dr. Prior gives me More’s story unsanitized …
… which inspires me all the more to live as one who, with all my imperfections, can still powerfully influence the world for good.