Book Chapter

Women Writers and Abolition

Deirdre Coleman, JM Labbe

The History of British Women's Writing, 1750-1830, Volume Five | Palgrave Macmillan | Published : 2010


The years 1787–88 mark the high tide of popular abolitionism. What had begun as a small-scale protest, with Quakers submitting their first public petition to Parliament in 1783, was soon to culminate in a sudden and widespread outburst of humanitarian revulsion against the ‘abominable’ and ‘indefensible’ trade. There have been many attempts to explain the speed and breadth of the national mobilization against the slave trade. In a recent contribution Seymour Drescher dismisses arguments that attribute the new popularity to ‘chastened anxiety or national humiliation’ at the loss of the North American colonies. Nor does Drescher see abolitionism’s coming of age as a response to heightened inte..

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