Abstract

This essay introduces the unpublished poetry of Sarah Wesley (1759-1828), daughter of co-founder and poet of Methodism Charles Wesley. Although Sarah Wesley is a crucial (if unacknowledged) source for our knowledge of early Methodism, her poetry challenges many of the denomination's central tenets, particularly its doctrine of love. What is more, the poetry offers a new tenor to the period's most pressing political concerns, as well as possibilities for reconsidering the relationship between religion and early liberal feminism. Contextualizing Wesley in the incipient feminist debates at the end of the eighteenth century, I give particular regard to the thought of Catharine Macaulay and Hannah More (both of whom Wesley knew), and of Mary Wollstonecraft (whom Wesley anticipates).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 223-237
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-13
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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