Women, Gender and Enlightenment

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Historians long excluded women from the Enlightenment orbit. But modern research shows that "woman" and gender were key categories of Enlightenment thought, and that women themselves--as scientists and salonnieres, bluestockings and governesses, feminists and novelists--contributed much to enlightened intellectual culture. This volume of interdisciplinary essays by forty leading scholars provides a detailed picture of the controversial, innovative role played by women and gender issues in the age of light.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Women, Gender, and Enlightenment is one of those rare collections that has it all. Combining searching historiographical essays with scholarly discussions of specific authors, this volume has an exceptionally wide reach, covering questions of sex, gender and politics as they emerged in Enlightenment France, England, Spain, Italy, Scotland and the American Colonies. But thanks to the authoritative introductions to each section and to the two concluding essays that take stock of the entire volume, Women, Gender, and Enlightenment does not feel uneven or miscellaneous but is instead animated by a spirit of collaboration. A marvellous and compelling book." - Claudia L Johnson, author of Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender and Sentimentality in the 1790s

"The most comprehensive, diverse and stimulating account of women and gender in any era: an astonishing collective achievement". - John Brewer, author of The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230517813
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/27/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 792
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Taylor is Reader in History at the University of East London, UK, and author of Eve and the New Jerusalem (1983) and Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination (2003). She was Director of the 'Feminism and Enlightenment' research project (1998-2001).

Sarah Knott is Assistant Professor in History at Indiana University, USA, and at work on a history of sensibility in revolutionary America. She was research fellow on the 'Feminism and Enlightenment' project.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
• List of Contributors
• General Introduction
• Introduction--K.O'Brien
• Between the Savage and the Civil: Dr John Gregory's Natural History of Femininity--M.C.Moran
• Feminists versus Gallants: Sexual Manners and Morals in Enlightenment Britain--B.Taylor
• "Ambiguous Beings": Marginality, Melancholy, and the Femme Savante--A.Vila
• Introduction--J.Rendall
• Race, Women, and Progress in the Late Scottish Enlightenment--S.Sebastiani
• No Woman is an Island: the Female Figure in French Enlightenment Anthropology--J.Mander
• Civilisation, Patriotism, and Enlightened Histories of Woman--S.Tomaselli
• Introduction--D.Wahrman
• Advice and Enlightenment: Mary Wollstonecraft and Sex Education--V.Jones
• Tears and the Man--P.Carter
• Reading Rousseau's Sexuality--R.Howells
• Introduction--M.B.Peruga
• L'Ortografe des Dames: Gender and Language in the Old Regime--D.Goodman
• "To think, to compare, to combine, to methodise": Girls' Education in Enlightenment Britain--M.Cohen
• Discourses of Female Education in the Writings of Eighteenth-Century French Women--J.Bloch
• Introduction--C.Hesse
• Women on the Verge of Science: Aristocratic Women and Knowledge in Early Eighteenth-Century Italy--P.Findlen
• 'The noblest commerce of mankind': Conversation and Community in the Bluestocking Circle--E.Eger
• Aristocratic Feminism, the Learned Governess, and the Republic of Letters--C.C.Orr
• "Women that would plague me with rational conversation": Aspiring Women and Scottish Whigs, c. 1790-1830--J.Rendall
• Introduction--C.C.Orr
• Mary Astell and Enlightenment--R.Perry
• The Deconstruction of Gender: Seventeenth-century Feminism and Modern Equality--S.Stuurman
• "Neither Male nor Female": Rational Equality in the Early Spanish Enlightenment--M.B.Peruga
• Introduction--B.Taylor
• The Soul has No Sex: Feminism and Catholicism in Early Modern Europe--S.Stuurman
• Religion, Feminism and the Problem of Agency: Reflections on Eighteenth-Century Quakerism--P.Mack
• Bluestocking Fictions: Devotional Writings, Didactic Literature and the Imperative of Female Improvement--N.Clarke
• "With Mrs Barbauld it is different": Dissenting Heritage and the Devotional Taste--D.White
• Mary Hays (1759-1843): An Enlightened Quest--G.L.Walker
• Introduction--H.Guest
• Catharine Macaulay's Histories of England: A Female Perspective on the History of Liberty--K.O'Brien
• Liberty, Equality and God: the Religious Roots of Catherine Macaulay's Feminism--S.Hutton
• Romantic Patriotism as Feminist Critique of Empire: Helen Maria Williams, Sydney Owenson and Germaine de Staël--C.Franklin
• Introduction--L.Hunt
• Women in 18th Century British Politics--A.Clark
• Extending the "Right of Election": Men's Arguments for Women's Political Representation in Late Enlightenment Britain--A.Chernock
• Filles Publiques or Public Women: the Actress as Citizen--F.Gordon
• The Politics of Intimacy: Marriage and Citizenship in the French Revolution--S.Desan
• Benjamin Rush's Ferment: Enlightenment Medicine and Female Citizenship in Revolutionary America--S.Knott
• Women's Rights in the Era before Seneca Falls--R.Zagarri
• Women and Enlightenment: A Historiographical Conclusion--J.Robertson
• Feminism and Enlightenment Legacies--K.Soper
• Enlightenment Biographies
• Index

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