1883 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hannah More

Eric S. Robertson, in English Poetesses, a Series of Critical Biographies (1883) 137-38.



Hannah More (1745-1833) was thought a poetess by some of her own time. Her first work was a pastoral drama, entitled The Search after Happiness (1773); her Sacred Dramas (with Sensibility,) appeared in 1782; and her other poetical efforts are The Inflexible Captive (1774), Percy (1777), The Fatal Falsehood (1779), Florie (1786), The Bas Bleu (1786), The Feast of Freedom (1827), and the Sir Eldred of the Bower, to which some lines of Garrick's allude in terms of unstinted praise. The life of this estimable lady can hardly be given here; for, in spite of our ancestors' opinions, it would be a very hard task to prove Hannah More possessed of any poetical talent at all. Her verses, entitled The Two Weavers, are still occasionally quoted, but her best poem may be said to be the well-known couplet—

In men this blunder still you find,
All think their little set mankind.