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Women, Gender and Enlightenment


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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements List of Contributors General Introduction PART I: WOMEN, MEN, ENLIGHTENMENT SEXUAL DISTINCTIONS AND PRESCRIPTIONS 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 GENDER, RACE AND THE PROGRESS OF CIVILIZATION 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 SEX AND SENSIBILITY 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 GENDER AND THE REASONING MIND 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 WOMEN INTELLECTUALS IN THE ENLIGHTENED REPUBLIC OF LETTERS 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 PART II: FEMINISM, ENLIGHTENMENT AND REVOLUTION CHAMPIONING WOMEN: EARLY ENLIGHTENMENT FEMINISMS 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 FEMINISM AND ENLIGHTENED RELIGIOUS DISCOURSES 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 WOMEN, LIBERTY AND THE NATION 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 Stael; C.Franklin WOMEN AND REVOLUTIONARY CITIZENSHIP: ENLIGHTENMENT LEGACIES? 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 CONCLUSIONS Women and Enlightenment: A Historiographical Conclusion; J.Robertson Feminism and Enlightenment Legacies; K.Soper Enlightenment Biographies Index

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JEAN BLOCH Senior Lecturer in French, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK PHILIP CARTER Publication Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ARIANNE CHERNOCK Assistant Professor of Writing, George Washington University, USA ANNA CLARK Professor of History, University of Minnesota, USA NORMA CLARKE Lecturer in English, Kingston University, UK MICHELE COHEN Professor in Humanities, Richmond, the American International University in London, UK SUZANNE DESAN Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA ELIZABETH EGER Lecturer in English, King's College, London, UK PAULA FINDLEN Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History, Stanford University, UK CAROLINE FRANKLIN Reader in English, University of Wales, UK DENA GOODMAN Professor of History and Women's Studies, University of Michigan, USA FELICIA GORDON Senior Research Associate, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, UK HARRIET GUEST Professor, Department of English and Related Literature, University of York, USA CARLA HESSE Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley, USA ROBIN HOWELLS Professor of French, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK LYNN HUNT Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History, UCLA, UK SARAH HUTTON Professor of Early Modern Studies, Middlesex University, UK VIVIEN JONES Professor of Eighteenth-Century Gender and Culture, School of English, Leeds University, UK PHYLLIS MACK Lecturer in History and Women's Studies, Rutgers University, USA JENNY MANDER Senior Lecturer, Department of French, University of Cambridge, UK MARY CATHERINE MORAN Lecturer, Columbia University, USA KAREN O'BRIEN Professor of English Literature, University of Warwick, UK CLARISSA CAMPBELL ORR Senior Lecturer in History, Anglia Polytechnic University, UK RUTH PERRY Professor of Literature, MIT, USA MONICA BOLUFER PERUGA Cultural Historian JANE RENDALL Honorary Fellow, History Department, University of York, UK JOHN ROBERTSON Lecturer in History, Oxford University, UK SILVIA SEBASTIANI Research Fellow, Centro di Studi sul Pensiero Politico, Turin, ITALY KATE SOPER Professor of Philosophy, London Metropolitan University SIEP STUURMAN Professor of European History, Erasmus University, THE NETHERLANDS SYLVANA TOMASELLI Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, UK ANNE C. VILA Lecturer in French, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA DROR WAHRAMN Lecturer in British, European and Cultural History, Indiana University, USA GINA LURIA WALKER Chair, Department of Social Sciences, new School University, New York, USA DANIEL E. WHITE Assistant Professor of English, University of Toronto, CANADA ROSEMARIE ZAGARRI Professor of History, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

About 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.


'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

'The cumulative effect of this volume is stunning, in part because the repetitions and contradictions do at least highlight the different ways in which events, ideas and personalities can be interpreted, depending on the lens applied. A respect for multiple perspectives, an unwillingness to scorn the past, an interest in the many routes by which one can arrive at a given place - all these things make this volume a true work of collaboration and a landmark contribution to historical scholarship.' - TLS

'This book is a marvellous treasure house of ideas and scholarship: the editors have produced one of the most significant academic works of the past 30 years...The particular significance of Sarah Knott and Barbara Taylor's collection is that it makes us think, in the most detailed and precise way, about an issue that in the view of many of us in the social sciences and the humanities is of central importance. The question is that of the relationship of gender to knowledge...This volume, through placing women at the heart of Enlightenment debates about social change, allows us to see again that Kant and Descartes also left the beaten path, and that the true spirit of the Enlightenment was not synonymous with those detailed questions of social organisation with which it became embroiled in the 19th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries, women dared to know long before Kant had thought of the phrase. That daring is now given its voice in this brilliant collection.' - Mary Evans, THES

'The sheer size of Women, Gender and Enlightenment, with its thirty-five essays, several section introductions and biographies indicates not only the variety of the subject matter, but also the variety of approaches to this material.' - Corinna Wagner, History of Political Thought

'An imposing achievement Barbara Taylor and Sarah Knott have organized and guided to completion an exceptionally timely book. More than any other volume I know, Women, Gender and Enlightenment registers the force of the impact that feminist scholarship has had, and will continue to have, on the study of the Enlightenment and on the historical discipline as a whole. Aside from its huge importance for Enlightenment studies, the volume both marks the accomplishments of the historical study of women and gender and points us in new directions. It may also prove to be a pivotal moment in the development of feminism itself.' - Anthony LaVopa, Journal of Modern History

'While dozens of books have anticipated pieces of the arguments made in this volume, never has so extensive an attempt been made to pull them together into a cohesive whole. The volume can be seen not only as a step towards a new synthesis but as the culmination of several decades of work in both Enlightenment studies and women's studies.' - Ruth H. Bloch, Modern Intellectual History

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