William Wilberforce: A Biography

Overview

William Wilberforce's name will forever be associated with the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. This lively biography includes primary documentation about the experience of slaves and slave traders. Drawing on his experience as a journalist and a church historian, Tomkins' book traces Wilberforce's early years as the son of a wealthy merchant family in Hull and his dissolute life in Cambridge. Following his work as an MP under Pitt and his evangelical conversion, he became a campaigner for public ...

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Overview

William Wilberforce's name will forever be associated with the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. This lively biography includes primary documentation about the experience of slaves and slave traders. Drawing on his experience as a journalist and a church historian, Tomkins' book traces Wilberforce's early years as the son of a wealthy merchant family in Hull and his dissolute life in Cambridge. Following his work as an MP under Pitt and his evangelical conversion, he became a campaigner for public morality and led the parliamentary movement for the abolition of slavery. The book covers the formation of the "Clapham Sect" and the passing of the Anti-Slave trade act, up to Wilberforce's death just 3 days after the final reading of the Emancipation Bill.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
AGERANGE: Ages 15 to adult.

In 1779, William Wilberforce introduced a bill in Parliament that would outlaw the trade of African captives into slavery in the British possessions in the Caribbean. He worked tirelessly for the next 50 years: 30 to get the slave trade abolished and another 20 to abolish slavery itself. He died two days after the final bill passed into law. Students of the American Civil War are aware that Britain had abolished slavery in 1833. But in general, Americans know little about the process and the intricate and convoluted political battles that those abolition bills, first of the trade and then of slavery itself, entailed. Journalist Stephen Tomkins treads smoothly through the tangled political path that Wilberforce, his friend Pitt, and others were obliged to follow if slavery and its trade were ever to be outlawed in England. Carefully researched and annotated, William Wilberforce is appropriate for honors history and sociology students. Reviewer: Patricia Moore
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802825933
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co
  • Publication date: 5/30/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 724,337
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Tomkins has a PhD in Church History at London Bible College and is a contributing editor to the Ship of Fools website. He is the author of John Wesley, Paul and his World, and A Short History of Christianity.

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