Arts & Culture

Prior Discusses “More”

By Zeke Snell

Dr. Karen Swallow Prior signs her books at the Lyceum Series in Westminster Hall on February 9. – photo by Zeke Snell

Dr. Karen Swallow Prior is an English professor at Liberty University. With a Ph.D. and M.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a B.A. from Daemen College, expertise in writing and historical British Literature and passion for an equality among all, Dr. Prior researched and wrote a book concerning the intricate and inspiring life of one of the largest figures in abolishing the slave trade. On Feb. 9, Dr. Prior paid Grace College a visit and gave over 100 students and teachers alike a glimpse into the life of 18th and 19th century poet, novelist and anti-slave advocate Hannah More.

Dr. Prior’s book “Fierce Convictions” follows More’s life as she goes through a number of outlets to abolish slavery, spread literacy, educate the poor and improve the condition of the world around her. Born in 1745, More had always been at the top of her class, despite being a woman and even being rejected a higher education at a college or university. Prior even goes as far as to call More, “the modern ideal of a self-made person,” especially for her time.

More felt convicted to fight the slave trade at a young age and did so with pamphlets containing gruesome and horrific pictures to add a serious emotional pull to something most people of her time hadn’t bothered to think about. More went on to create a variety of publications to better the world, all of which can be read about in Dr. Prior’s “Fierce Convictions.” More’s life is incredibly inspiring and active, and any student looking to find out more about her life should certainly consider getting Dr. Prior’s book.

One of the greatest qualities of More that helped inspire Dr. Prior to write this book lies in More’s ability to approach culture in a literary way. Dr. Prior’s passion for English and the betterment of others seems to mirror More and demonstrate the difference one person can make in the lives of many.