Hannah More’s work, neglected for much of the twentieth century, is being critically evaluated. She gave the controversial title Tales for the Common People to a selection of her Cheap Repository Tracts, first published between 1795 and 1798 and distributed across the nation to more than two million people in a remarkable cultural experiment which was politically counter-revolutionary and morally radical. Fissures in her texts reveal creative conflict as she advocates the values of the prevailing ideology while seeking to modify them.These simple but influential texts deserve reading by students of women’s writing, social historians and anyone interested in methods of converting minds by use of fiction. The present edition draws on the early chapbook versions of these tracts, printing some with their original woodcuts.Edited, with an introduction and notes, by Clare MacDonald Shaw, formerly a Senior Lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University.
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