William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-slave Trade Campaigner

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007 - 582 pages
From William Hague comes a major biography of abolitionist William Wilberforce, the man who fought for twenty years to abolish the Atlantic slave trade.

Wilberforce, born to a prosperous family, chose a life of public service and adherence to Evangelical values over the comfortable merchant existence that was laid out for him. Of a conservative bent, Wilberforce was actively hostile to radicals and revolutionaries, but championed one of the great liberal causes of all time--the abolition of slavery--and was an invaluable contributor to its ultimate success. When Parliament finally outlawed the slave trade in 1807, Wilberforce did not rest on his laurels but took part in the campaign for the abolition of slavery itself. He never held or desired a cabinet post, but became an expert in any subject he addressed as a member of Parliament. And although his convictions were informed by deep religious fervor, he never hesitated to change his mind upon reflection. Hague captures all of these nuances and complexities in this clear-eyed, humane, and moving biography.
 

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User Review  - oataker - LibraryThing

Helpful and sympathetic treatment, Hague honestly reports his religion without feeling he has to sneer. Good outline of environment they lived in. Wilberforce clearly a charming man with great ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - zen_923 - LibraryThing

William Hague is one of my favorite authors. Just like his book on William Pitt, I would highly recommend this book. It's well-researched and easy to read. The author provides good anecdotes as well ... Read full review

Contents

One Boy Two Paths i
1
Ambition and Election
20
The Devoted Acolyte
44
Agony and Purpose
70
Diligence and New Causes
94
The Trade in Flesh and Blood
114
Early Optimism
142
Eloquence Without Victory
169
Abolition
327
High Respect Low Politics
357
The Struggle Renewed
396
Under Attack
427
Trials of Faith
451
An Increase of Enjoyments
478
His Feet on the Rock
500
Notes
519

An Overflowing Mind
199
The Independent
227
Consuming Passions
258
Darkness Before Dawn
293
Bibliography
543
Index
557
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About the author (2007)

WILLIAM HAGUE has served in various capacities in the British government since 1989, including Leader of the Conservative Party. He is the shadow foreign secretary and senior member of the Shadow Cabinet, and the author of William Pitt the Younger. He lives in Yorkshire, England.

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