Topic Modeling Results
The topics we found from our modeling are as follows:1. human natural heart opinion education temper virtue women reason attention
2. things lord light country eye observed book lay years land
3. men time poor present manner case turn means hand place
4. god christ thou true thy saviour world earth sin people
5. sir mind religion belfield taste principle sense dr barlow higher
6. life world time give god heart read called day soul
7. worthy bragwell father mother family friend brought religion sin wife
8. poor sir god children church money farmer day bad work
9. conversation knowledge character children principles religious men ladies society object
10. master stock boy brown house people poor giles ye tears
Topic Modeling Analysis Informed by Lexos
human natural heart opinion education temper virtue women reason attention
This topic seems to center on advocating education for women and to improve citizens and extend Christian beliefs. This topic connects to sentimentality.
- Hannah More’s essays, such as “Heart and Temper in the Education of Daughter” and “Miscellaneous Observations on Genius,” are more heavily weighted in this topic, but mixed with some of the not signed tracts: “Coelebs in Search of a Wife,” “The Two Wealthy Farmers,” “The Two Shoemakers.”
- Rankings: "Charles Jones" ranks 22nd and "History of Mary Wood" is 41st. Charles Jones may be ranked higher because of the terms/themes of “heart” “human” and “natural.” (As discussed in our Cluster Analysis section, these are the not signed texts we determined most likely to be authored by More herself.)
things lord light country eye observed book lay years land
In this topic, we see themes relating to nationalism, class issues, and literacy.
- Words that possibly show nationalism: “land” “country” “years”
- “Lord,” “light” and “country” could relate to religious themes, but also class hierarchy
- “Book” and “light” may support the literacy argument. Perhaps there is an implied connection between literacy, class, and country.
- Again, More’s tracts come up ranked at the top. "Charles Jones" (ranked 42) and "Mary Wood" (ranked 40, under #39 "Tawney Rachel").
- Number 15 is More’s “Miscellaneous Observations on Genius”
- Number 21 is More’s “On Danger of Sentimental or Romantic Connections”
men time poor present manner case turn means hand place
These topics apply to the story of a slightly upwardly character who is a hardworking Christian man.
- "Charles Jones" is ranked 13
- "Mary Wood" is 27th
god christ thou true thy saviour world earth sin people
Pastoral, Christian theme: Religion heavily weighted.
- Anonymous tracts ranked higher in this category
- "Charles Jones" and "Mary Woods" ranked 29 and 30
- They may not be part of the top 10 because though both emphasize that people should be hard-working Christians, they are not solely concentrated on these themes/topics. Charles references God and going to church: “I went to church as often as I could, I said my prayers night and morning,” but these are actions he takes rather than continuous references to religion (10). Other stories that rank higher in this topic group are biblical stories (“The Conversion of St. Paul the apostle,” “Death of Christ” “The Fall of Adam” etc).
sir mind religion belfield taste principle sense dr barlow higher
More masculine topics. Representations of reason/virtue in public sphere.
- Charles Jones and Mary Wood are ranked at 33 and 37, respectively.
- We thought this topic may indicate another theme of men and labor, which explains the lower ranking of both tracts. However, topics like “taste,” “mind,” “religion” and “principle” are related to the class, labor, and the behavioral themes of both tracts.
- This group of topics has three throwaway topics: “belfield,”“barlow,” “dr.”
life world time give god heart read called day soul
Topic 6 has general themes that would apply to many tracts: “life” “world” “time.” “
- Charles Jones” is ranked 10
- “History of Mary Wood” is ranked 15
- The topics that may be more related to religion (“god” “soul” “heart”) support general themes of these stories.
- Both characters learn or realize that they should behave morally and from this, they will have better opportunities.
worthy bragwell father mother family friend brought religion sin wife
This topic seems to focus on roles in the family.
- More’s tracts dominate the top 10
- Both "Charles Jones" and "Mary Woods" appear in the top 10 of this topic, which makes sense because both stories show the effects and
consequences of immoral behavior on family.
- The topics listed like “father,”
“mother,” “family,” “friend,” “religion,” and “sin” show the connection between
themes of morality and family.
- This topic listing is also significant because
many of the tracts ascribed to Hannah More are listed as the primary sources
for the topics.
poor sir god children church money farmer day bad work
This topic contains themes of religion and labor.
- Topics like “poor,” “children,”and “work;” “church,” and “god” support this. Like Topic 7, many of More’s tracts are the primary sources for the topics. Tracts that show the effects of moral upbringing on the status of the family are also listed. “Tawney Rachel” as discussed by Scheuermann is a source for topics like “poor” “money” and “bad.” It is listed beneath “History of Mary Wood,” which would also support Scheuermann’s arguments about More’s depiction of women in the tracts. She argues that More shows a “dubiety about the intelligence of women,” which is supported through the characterizations of Tawney Rachel and Mary Wood. Furthermore, Scheuermann writes, “character is a very important aspect of the poor man or woman,” which again supports the relation of both tracts (163).
- “Tawney Rachel” is ascribed to More, and the tract is usually closed related to “History of Mary Wood” in various topics. This supports our argument that More is the likely author of Mary Wood.
- The topics of “work” and “money” are also related as Scheuermann notes: “for the poor, character translates into a willingness to work without complaint even to the point of illness” (163). The tracts listed in the top 15 show various characters that are either hardworking and virtuous, or immoral and undeserving of aid. For instance, “the Happy Waterman” is a tract Scheuermann includes in her analysis to show that even children should work to support the family.
conversation knowledge character children principles religious men ladies society object
These themes relate to society as a whole.
- Topics like “conversation” and “knowledge” are most likely sourced from More's essays.
- Topics like “character” and “principles” could be from both the tracts and the essays.
- "Charles Jones" and "Mary Woods" are 35 and 36, which indicates that these themes are not particularly emphasized in those tracts.
master stock boy brown house people poor giles ye tears
This topic relates to class through possible themes of servitude or slavery
- “The History of Mary Wood” is one of the top tracts (the seventh) listed. Lack of class mobility is another consequence of Mary’s lying. She loses a job and is denied others because of her reputation as a liar. When the baker, who has recently gained his father’s wealth, discovers her to be a liar, he loses interest. The knowledge of his prior interest helps Mary to realize the span of consequences for her lies. When she is told of the potential husband she lost, she “took it so much to heart that she never again held up her head” (20). She then moves 50 miles away to find work. However, she becomes ill and never recovers. The story seems to show that Mary is not only unable to change her situation, but her reputation as a liar has branded her for life. These severe consequences would serve as a kind of threat of class consequences for immoral behavior.
- Charles Jones is also listed as one of the top works for topic 10. Though his story was positive, it also juxtaposed his hard-working, loyal character to other envious, lazy servants. Charles’ narration reminds the reader of the importance of virtue: “I earnestly recommend it to all other servants, who have been so happy as to acquire sober and virtuous habits, not suffer themselves to be laughed out of their sobriety and virtue by the jests and ridicule of their fellow-servants” (11). He is also blessed for his honesty and loyalty to his master by being promoted to butler, and later to bailiff.
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