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Literature Makes History: How Poets Helped End Slavery

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The Atlantic slave trade was abolished in 1808; but for 100 years before that a surprising number of writers denounced slavery in their creative works. Drawing on his recent book Amazing Grace, Professor Basker reveals how early, and how vehemently, poets shaped Anglo-American attitudes toward slavery. The anti-slavery poets range from famous figures like Pope, Wheatley, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, to long-forgotten women, former slaves, and others recovered from the oblivion of historical neglect.