Anti-Abolitionist Poetry: Exploring Hanna More’s ‘The Sorrows of Yamba’ and Anne Yearsley ‘A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave Trade’

Anti-Abolitionist Poetry: Exploring Hanna More’s ‘The Sorrows of Yamba’ and Anne Yearsley ‘A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave Trade’

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We are going to deal with the concept of sympathy in the context of anti-slavery movements and anti-slave-trade, first by providing readers with an introduction on anti-slave trade, (which was one of the main consequences of colonialism) and the anti-abolitionist movement. The two texts we are going to deal with are Hanna More’s ‘The Sorrows of Yamba’(1795) and Anne Yearsley ‘A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave Trade’ (1788), providing a brief biography of both authoresses and their relevance in the history of literature and more significantly, on their contribution to the anti-abolitionist movement. Both authoresses are related with the anti-abolitionist poetry in Bristol, the other two out of four being Thomas Chatterton and Robert Southey .
Slavery had existed since ancient times, but in the 18th and 19th centuries, it became one of the most important trades in Europe. The main ports for the slave trade in Europe were Bristol, Liverpool and London, where huge fortunes were made. The traders in Africa were members of tribes and they took people from villages.

The anti-slavery movement was developed in Europe by the British Parliament in 1780s and 1790s, but it was beset by the delaying tactics and power of the West-India lobby.
William Wilberforce introduced the Abolition Bill every year in parliament, but it was rejected continually until 1809. 18th century Britons had a concern too, and they objected to the enslavement of Africans in the West Indies. According to Fulford:
‘Many of those objecting were men and women who, appalled by the culture of consumption they saw spreading across Britain, participated in a religious revival of the Church of England. These Evangelicals attacked colonial slavery as a violation of ...


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...88) as it appears in the Course Handbook.
More, Hannah. ‘The Sorrows of Yamba’(1788) as it appears in the Course Handbook.


"English Abolitionist Literature of the Nineteenth Century - Alan Richardson (essay date spring 1996)." Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Russel Whitaker Marie C. Toft. Vol. 136. Gale Cengage, 2004. eNotes.com. 2006. 1 Dec, 2009 http://www.enotes.com/nineteenth-century-criticism/
english-abolitionist-literature-nineteenth-century/alan-richardson-essay-date-spring-1996

"More, Hannah - Robert Hole (essay date 2000)." Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Russel Whitaker. Vol. 141. Gale Cengage, 2004. eNotes.com. 2006. 2 Dec, 2009 http://www.enotes.com/nineteenth-century-criticism/
more-hannah/robert-hole-essay-date-2000
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1narr4.html (Webpage with information on the Middle cargo passage).

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