Who was Hannah More?  Meet a Bluestocking heroine of the Enlightenment with film producer Anthea Page and actor Lily Maryon

A still from a new film about Bluestocking, Hannah More.

Join BRLSI on Monday 13th November to discover the unusual story of a remarkable 18th century writer, social reformer and noted figure of the Enlightenment, Hannah More, in this screening of a new period feature film about her life and in conversation with the film’s leading actor and producer.

Born in Bristol in 1745, to a family of teachers, Hannah became one of England’s intellectual elite. The film recounts the extraordinary achievements of this writer, poet and philanthropist who became a successful playwright, founded schools for the poor and tirelessly campaigned for the abolition of slavery against the background of the French Revolution, Battle of Trafalgar and the Peterloo Massacre.

The fourth of five daughters, Hannah More had an unusually good education and, like her sisters, became a teacher herself. A thwarted engagement left her with a small annuity and enough financial independence to pursue her literary ambitions. As she began publishing poetry and plays in London she became a member of the famous Bluestocking conversationalists’ circle with Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Burney and Sir Joshua Reynold and was befriended by David Garrick, Dr Samuel Johnson and Edmund Burke. In the late 1780s she returned to Somerset and became involved in the political struggle for the abolition of slavery, meeting William Wilberforce in 1787 and writing and publishing poems in support of his campaign for decades to come.

Shot in and around Bristol by Redcliffe Films the film’s locations include Blaise Hamlet, built by John Nash in the early 18th century, Hannah’s birthplace in Fishponds, John Wesley’s early 18th century chapel and the Quaker chapel at Cleeve. The film was cast from the Old Vic Theatre School with Lily Maryon as Hannah More. Originally released exclusively online, it has since generated so much interest that this full length feature is now on release in cinemas.

The screening will be followed by a session with lead actor Lily Maryon and producer Anthea Page who will describe its many stages of development, the challenges of making a convincing period feature on a low budget and take questions from the audience.

If you’re interested in women’s history, period drama and the biopic genre, this is an illuminating and entertaining evening which you can be part of, in person at Queen Square, or online.

Monday 13 November 2023 at 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm in person at Queen Square or livestream online. Please book tickets here.


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