William Wilberforce

The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner

By William Hague
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151012671, 608pp.)

Publication Date: June 2008

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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.

About the Author

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.

Praise For William Wilberforce

PRAISE FOR William Pitt the Younger

"Mr. Hague covers Pitt's career with elegance and panache . . . [He] has written a very fine biography of this immensely important figure in British history."—Wall Street Journal

"William Hague's book is a model of orderly exposition and narration . . . Anyone really interested in British history or in politics ought to read it."—Frank Wilson, Philadelphia Inquirer

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