Cheap Repository Tracts is the title of a popular series of chapbooks written in the 18th century by evangelist Hannah More. Cheaply produced and therefore affordable to many, these moral tales were intended to discourage political dissent and unscrupulous lifestyles. Politically conservative, the stories were made more appealing by the addition of woodcut illustrations.
What is the moral of Black Giles the Poacher?
In Black Giles the Poacher we are introduced to the lazy family of Black Giles, a poacher, and his wife Tawney Rachel. The author paints a damning picture of this family, for whom ‘regular labour and honest industry did not suit their idle habits’. Instead of being redeemed by society or by personal revelation, the family members appear destined to receive their just desserts. Giles dies in agony from injuries sustained during an attempted robbery, while Tawney Rachel is transported to Australia for handling stolen goods. The author does not describe the fate of the children.