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Wilfred Owen's VoicesLanguage and Community$
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Douglas Kerr

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198123705

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198123705.001.0001

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Drink and the Devil

Drink and the Devil

(p.84) 7 Drink and the Devil
Wilfred Owen's Voices

Douglas Kerr

Oxford University Press

Susan Owen was active not only for the British and Foreign Bible Society, but also for the Temperance Society which proved to be second to missionary activity in terms of scale of Evangelical good works. Drink was viewed during this time as a grave social problem, especially among the poor. Endeavours made in the 19th century to address this problem were largely taken from Nonconformist notions. This was later followed by developments in the temperance movement that furthered the Church of England's Evangelical aspect. The ‘experience meetings’ which were intended for drunks to proclaim sobriety were replaced by drawing-room meetings. These neglected the personal experiences of the drunkards. This chapter explores the notion of ‘moral suasion’ and how Owen was tasked to organise meetings among the parish's children.

Keywords:   Susan Owen, Temperance Society, drink, temperance movement, drawing-room meetings, moral suasion, sobriety

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