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Cambridge University Press

Women and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Women and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Britain

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During the long eighteenth century, ideas of society and of social progress were first fully investigated. These investigations took place in the contexts of economic, theological, historical and literary writings which paid unprecedented attention to the place of women. Combining intellectual history with literary criticism, Karen O'Brien examines the central importance to the British Enlightenment both of women writers and of women as a subject of enquiry. She examines the work of a range of writers, including John Locke, Mary Astell, David Hume, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, T. R. Malthus, the Bluestockings, Catharine Macaulay, Mary Wollstonecraft and the first female historians of the early nineteenth century. She explores the way in which Enlightenment ideas created a language and a framework for understanding the moral agency and changing social roles of women, without which the development of nineteenth-century feminism would not have been possible.

Author: Karen O'Brien
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Published: 03/05/2009
Pages: 320
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.40lbs
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780521773492

Review Citation(s):
Choice 12/01/2009

About the Author
O'Brien, Karen: - Karen O'Brien is Professor of English at the University of Warwick.

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