A Stronger Muse

Brycchan Carey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient Slavery and Abolition
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Hobbes to Hollywood
EditorsRichard Alston, Edith Hall, Justine McConnell
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780191728723
ISBN (Print)9780199574674
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


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