Standard Ebooks

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

Phillis Wheatley

The cover for the Standard Ebooks edition of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley


Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral was the first book of poetry ever published by an African-American author. Phillis Wheatley’s deep familiarity with Latin literature and Christianity, combined with her African ancestry, provided her with a unique and inimitable view of poetry.

She was kidnapped and brought over to America on a ship called The Phillis after which she was named. Her interest in poetry and literature was recognized by the Wheatley family who, though keeping her enslaved, provided her with classic works of literature by authors such as Virgil, Homer, Terence, and Pope, all of whom had a significant influence on her work.

She received praise from many of her contemporaries including George Washington, John Hancock, and Voltaire. Shortly after publishing her collection of poetry she was emancipated by the Wheatley family. Even so, her life ended in poverty and obscurity.

Though her influence on poetry and African-American literature is indisputable, more modern critics of her work point to the lack of censure of slavery and the absence of discussion about the lives of black people in the United States as an example of the Uncle Tom syndrome.

Free download

This ebook is only thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that the contents of this ebook are free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before downloading or using this ebook.

  • Compatible epub All devices and apps except Amazon Kindle and Kobo.

  • azw3 Amazon Kindle devices and apps. Also download the Kindle cover thumbnail to see the cover in your Kindle’s library.

  • kepub Kobo devices and apps.

  • Advanced epub An advanced format not yet fully compatible with most ereaders.

A brief history of this ebook

  1. Update CSS to new standards

  2. Update core CSS files

  3. Update core.css, se.css, and titlepage to new standards

  4. Fix epub|type CSS selector

  5. Replace .signature class with z3998:signature epub:type

More details

Improve this ebook

Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!

To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.

If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.