At the beginning of this thesis, I stated as
my purpose, the study of the common sphere of influence+
of the two groups of people, the active reformers and
the poets, and the comparative merit of their achievements in the material and spiritual or intellectual
fields. That they were indeed subject to common influences is indicated by their all having thought,
acted and written upon similar questions. No direct
evidence appears, however, of their having stimulated
one another to do so.
In brief assessment we may say that Howard,
Mrs. Fry, Wilberforce, Clarkson, Edgeworth and Day
have left us a legacy of active humanitarian achievements; Cowper, a religious appeal,, and Crabbe, a "stimulus to benevolence ". Wordsworth, in my view,
transcends them all, for he brings us a message of
"joy in widest commonalty spread ".