It is not too much of an exaggeration to claim that any discussion of didactic literature written specically for the poor at the turn of the nineteenth century starts (and often ends) with Hannah More’s Village Politics (1793) and Cheap Repository Tracts. What I wish to consider in this chapter is how the popular writer Elizabeth Hamilton not only negotiated More’s dominance but also developed her own unique type of didactic tale. But rst we need to recall why there was such interest in didactic material. Concerns about the plight of Britain’s poorest citizens prompted the publication of many works at the turn of the nineteenth century. Inuential works such as Sarah Trimmer’s The Oeconomy of Charity, or, an Address to Ladies; Adapted to the Present State of Charitable Institutions in England (1787), Thomas Robert Malthus’s An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), and Patrick Colquhoun’s A Treatise on Indigence: Exhibiting a General View of the National Resources of Productive Labour (1806) address middle-and upper-class readers (‘legislators’, ‘able men’ or ‘ladies’) in order to propose changes and policies to ‘ameliorate the condition of the poor’.1 In such works the poor are spoken about but not spoken to. Traditionally, when the poor themselves were addressed, it was through tracts, chapbooks, and broadsides.2 Tract writing has a long history in England, but the genre took on a particular style and political resonance during the tumultuous 1790s in large part because of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man (1791-92).3 Paine directly addressed the working classes of Britain and encouraged a far broader readership to engage with topics such as the nation’s history, governance, economics, and individual rights. In assuming his readers were intelligent, thinking individuals, though not necessarily educated, he fundamentally changed the language of political discourse.4