English Abolitionist Literature of the Nineteenth Century Criticism: Sociopolitical Concerns - Essay

Barbara Taylor Paul-Emile (essay date April 1974)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Paul-Emile, Barbara Taylor. “Samuel Taylor Coleridge as Abolitionist.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 5, no. 2 (April 1974): 59-75.

[In the following essay, Paul-Emile discusses Samuel Taylor Coleridge's transformation from liberal abolitionist to a conservative wary of emancipation's effect on the British social hierarchy.]

As a young man, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was deeply concerned about slavery; his writing on the subject can be divided into two distinct periods. The first, extending from 1792 to 1798, could be called his more liberal abolitionist phase. During this time he expressed distress over the very existence of slavery and...

(The entire section is 5449 words.)

J. R. Oldfield (essay date 1995)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Oldfield, J. R. “Abolition at the Grass-Roots Level.” In Popular Politics and British Anti-Slavery: The Mobilisation of Public Opinion against the Slave Trade 1787-1807, pp. 125-54. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995.

[In the following excerpt, Oldfield examines antislavery literature aimed at British children, which its authors believed would ultimately be beneficial in spreading the abolitionist message to the public at large.]

Just as abolitionists sought to reach and influence women, so, too, did they try and influence children. As J. H. Plumb argues, after 1700 children ‘became luxury objects upon which their mothers and fathers were...

(The entire section is 2715 words.)

Alan Richardson (essay date spring 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Richardson, Alan. “Darkness Visible: Race and Representation in Bristol Abolitionist Poetry, 1770-1810.” Wordsworth Circle 27, no. 2 (spring 1996): 67-72.

[In the following excerpt, Richardson argues that even though poetry by abolitionists writers Robert Southey, Thomas Chatterton, Hannah More, and Anne Yearsley shows that British Romanticism contributed to the construction of racial identity, their racial representations varied considerably.]

My purpose here is not to engage in the debate on “race” and culture, but rather to keep the contours of that debate in view while I examine the representation of race in the critical years, 1770-1810—from just...

(The entire section is 4794 words.)