Abolishing Cruelty: The Concurrent Growth of Antislavery and Animal Welfare Sentiment in British and Colonial Literature

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Volume43
Issue number2
Early online date17 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
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Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article argues that anti‐slavery and animal welfare writers actively and concurrently extended the boundaries of sympathy to promote an anti‐cruelty ethos that encompassed both suffering animals and suffering people and demanded that this shift in sensibilities be enshrined in legislation. It charts this from the 1680s to the 1770s in pamphlets and novels by Thomas Tryon, Sarah Scott, Humphrey Primatt and Laurence Sterne, before exploring parallel early nineteenth‐century debates over bull‐baiting and the abolition of slavery in texts by Thomas Day, Percival Stockdale and Elizabeth Heyrick.