A Stronger Muse
Classical Influences on Eighteenth-Century Abolitionist Poetry
This study of English poetry addresses the media through which sensibilities were developed during the 18th century that made abolition increasingly well supported across a broad spectrum of the British population. Abolitionists reached a wide audience through popular genres including novels, plays, songs, and particularly poems. Verses on slavery were written and published by the score in newspapers and magazines and in longer purpose-made volumes. Carey builds on the work of Willie Sypher and on his own British Abolitionism and the Rhetoric of Sensibility (2005) in order to explore how both the form and content of classical poetry were harnessed by abolitionists to their cause: Africa became by turns a land worthy of a tragic epic, of recasting as pastoral Arcadia, and as a point of comparison with the lands and peoples brutalised by Spartan helotage and Roman imperialism.
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