Friday 12 September 2014


Poet, pamphleteer and socialite, traveler, horticulturist and man of god and letters, the Reverend Doctor Thomas Sedgwick Whalley was one of the best-connected figures of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, with friends and correspondents ranging from William Wilberforce to Marie Antoinette. But few of his circle were more influential than Hannah More, arguably the most popular female writer of her day, not to mention a famed educator, philanthropist and a major figure in efforts to abolish the slave trade.

Now a film on More’s remarkable life is in the works, and Professor Christopher Stephens, author of The Reverend Doctor Thomas Sedgwick Whalley, the first biography of this singular gentleman, will be playing her long-time friend and neighbour. Professor Stephens spent ten years researching the eccentric, extravagant and generous life of Thomas Whalley, uncovering the voluminous range of his correspondence, the layout of his self-built mansion in the Mendip hills, and the course of his many travels throughout Europe. Having been a staunch and vocal champion of More’s often controversial work, the Reverend Doctor is bound to play an important role in the film, and in Professor Stephens the production will have an actor who knows his part inside out.

Hannah More is being produced by Redcliffe Films, and The Reverend Doctor Thomas Sedgwick Whalley is available here.

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