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Publisher's Summary

With a foreword by Eric Metaxas, best-selling author of Bonhoeffer and Amazing Grace.

The enthralling biography of the woman writer who helped end the slave trade, changed Britain's upper classes, and taught a nation how to read.

The history-changing reforms of Hannah More affected every level of 18th Century British society through her keen intellect, literary achievements, collaborative spirit, strong Christian principles, and colorful personality. A woman without connections or status, More took the world of British letters by storm when she arrived in London from Bristol, becoming a best-selling author and acclaimed playwright and quickly befriending the author Samuel Johnson, the politician Horace Walpole, and the actor David Garrick. Yet she was also a leader in the Evangelical movement, using her cultural position and her pen to support the growth of education for the poor, the reform of morals and manners, and the abolition of Britain's slave trade.

Fierce Convictions weaves together world and personal history into a stirring story of life that intersected with Wesley and Whitefield's Great Awakening, the rise and influence of Evangelicalism, and convulsive effects of the French Revolution. A woman of exceptional intellectual gifts and literary talent, Hannah More was above all a person whose faith compelled her both to engage her culture and to transform it.

©2014 Thomas Nelson Publishers (P)2014 Thomas Nelson Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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If Only We All Were So Fiercely Convicted

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narrator frequently mispronounced words, especially proper names, such as William Cowper and Magdalen College. These pronunciations cannot be credited to simply a difference between American and British English. She also had a way of pausing in the middle of a sentence that was sometimes confusing. But other than that, her narration was a great match for the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It was very good, but I found that I needed breaks from it occasionally.

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I knew nothing of Hannah More before I read this book. Her life is inspiring and provides fresh perspective on the world and culture. You can't help but hear her story as a call to action against the injustices of our day. This book also made me reflect on the way I live out my own faith.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth the read

I have read many books on Wilberforce as well as others from their group who helped eradicate slavery and it is fascinating to see how all the pieces came together and to find out that More was one of the most Intercal parts of the equation though barely mentioned in most my previous reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Worth Reading

Hannah More is one of those people you should have heard of, but haven't. What a remarkable person of her time!

The book started slowly, almost assuming the reader understood her importance. Once the immensity of her influence was made clear, the book became much more interesting.
The narrator made the listening difficult. She paused at the wrong times, and it could be hard to follow the thoughts as a result.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book but narrator needed improvement

This was an excellent biography about a woman whom more people should know about. Writer, abolitionist, and teacher, Hannah More did many things that impacted her country, and eventually the world for the better. I agree with the author that if good people would learn from her example and take action, some positive change could be made in our modern day world. Please read this book and be inspired by this complex and fascinating lady!

On the technical side of things, I gave the narrator's performance 3 stars because, while it wasn't completely awful, she had this strange tendency to pause at odd times so that her sentences sounded broken and sometimes it caused me some confusion and annoyance.

Content Advisory: There were a couple descriptions of the treatment of slaves. The most bothersome was a quote from a letter written by someone who had witnessed a woman being burned alive and described it a little. There was also a mention of how a man on a slave ship was “laying with” a slave woman in front of everyone. No description in this case, and it was said the man was promptly and soundly punished when he was caught.

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Fascinating account of the life of Hannah More

This was a very well-researched and well-written book about an amazing period in English history. Hannah More was a very gifted woman and I so appreciate how she dedicated those gifts to do what she could do to help eliminate the slave trade in England, using her skill in writing to expose and help change minds and hearts about the evil of this deeply entrenched abhorrent practice. It was also fascinating to learn about her as a person, her Godly devotion, her many writings and her hard work to help provide a means for the poor to learn to read, through her work in establishing “Sunday Schools”. These were not what we think of today as Sunday Schools, rather schools to teach literacy to those who did not have the opportunity to go to school because of working the other six days of the week.
This book and Hannah More’s life is best appreciated by an open-mind in understanding just how daring her opinions and writings were in this time period and not judged by the times we live within.The author excellently points this out throughout the book, when appropriate.
Some have complained about the reader, but I found this reader’s voice to be very pleasant and though sometimes she might not put inflection in a sentence to make it more readily understandable, I think her voice is one of the most pleasant voices that I have ever heard in a book read aloud.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A slight boring but a really cool lady

The book is very thorough and I learned so much about Hannah More. I only knew a slight about her over the past few years but not this much. This book is sadly a bit dry and boring, but it is really well researched and I am glad that I was able to learn all of the information about her.

This book covers the background of Hannah's family and talked at large about each of her sisters, all who were very close to one another and never married. They were well educated in a time when women were looked down upon for knowing much of any aspect of an ability of education.

Hannah More's early life was a bit free spirited and she lived a semi-worldly life, with some aspect of morality behind her decisions, but her conviction grew as she aged and her faith deepened greatly over time. She had started to realize her own admissions of vanity were not worth while after she had already been a playwright for a spell.

About halfway through this book we get to her abolitionist ways and how much she did to fight for the right of the slave's freedoms and justice. She was quite close friends with William Wilberforce and his wife for forty years and they died near the same time frame.

This also brings up how Hannah More was a Sunday School teacher when the practice was new and how she felt it was important to educate children to an understanding of Christ. She eventually opened up schools with her sisters for the poor and educated them in a time when there was a fear that educating the poor would bring an up-rise against the rich.

Through all of this, she also wrote several books when women authors were not too well heard of, though she had changed the whole concept of writing novels through a Christian perspective, which was not something people wanted, since that was thought as a sinful thing to do.

Basically, Hannah More brought around loads of change for women, slaves, and the poor. Go girl go.

I would have rated this book higher if it was made a little shorter, but it was again, very well done despite its yawning effects on my days.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An important story to know

I am glad I know the details of this remarkable Christian woman’s life and how the history of England and Western culture were impacted by what she accomplished.
The story was laid out well but the narration was annoying as the narrator did not speak succinctly and there’re were insufficient pauses between sentences throughout the narration which caused confusion when listening.
You barely had time to digest one thought and it was on to the next sentence.

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  • Sarah
  • Orlando, FL USA
  • 04-10-18

Excellent book, extremely poor narration

The content of the book is excellent However the narrator seemed to have no idea about what she was narrating! She paused at the wrong places, pronounced numerous words incorrectly, emphasized the wrong words to give a different meaning to the text. It was an exercise in frustration to listen to this narration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book!

Where does Fierce Convictions rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book ranks number one compared to all the audiobooks I have read.

What other book might you compare Fierce Convictions to and why?

I actually cannot compare it to another book. Though I tend to prefer biographies and nonfiction in general, this biography grabbed my attention and held me captivated till the end.

What does Christine Stevens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think her accent added to the story and I felt she did a great job narrating the story in general. Her voice and delivery added to the story. She was easy to listen to and follow along with her reading.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I did want to listen to it all in one setting, but I broke away to do other things at times. I finished the book the next day. I plan to listen to this book many more times though.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book! Dr. Prior brought Hanna Moore to life. I feel like Hanna's influence will have a lasting and profound effect on my life.

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  • S
  • 02-07-16

Fierce convictions

Maybe of interest to students studying social history, but could not be described as entertaining by any stretch of the imagination.
A biography perhaps, but even many of these are not quite so dry!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-22-18

Amazing woman of history

I knew nothing of Hannah More until I listened to Eric Metaxas’ ‘7 Women’. Swallow Prior’s book takes a little while to get going, but once it does, it is an extremely encouraging and vivid portrayal of an extremely gifted godly woman. We need more Hannah More’s!

My only criticism is the voice artist. Her voice is fine, but I get the impression that the recording was heavily edited; sometimes it feels like there is no breath taken between sentences (This is most notable at the beginning of a new chapter). Otherwise, a great listen!