First Feminists

First Feminists

British Women Writers, 1578–1799
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/22/1985
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-28120-3
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An invaluable resource to scholars interested in feminist thought.... " —Ruth Perry

Anyone interested in women’s history or feminist thought must read this book." —Lillian Faderman

Moira Ferguson has selected wisely from well-known and little-known figures and from fiction, polemic and poetry to illustrate the long and diverse history of feminist reflection up to and including Mary Wollstonecraft.... Good reading for scholars and a fine book for classroom use." —Natalie Zemon Davis

The selections resonate with exceptional force." —Fides et Historia

... impressive new product, fit for classroom and study, student and scholar." —The Scriblerian

... excellent anthology... without a doubt at all an immensely important addition to the growing library of Feminist Studies." —Anglo-American Studies

... this anthology is a valuable guide." —The Year’s Work in English Studies

For this anthology tracing the origins of feminist thought in Britain, the editor chose 28 important writers from Margaret Tyler (1578) to Mary Anne Radcliffe (1799).

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Table of Contents


Margaret Tyler fl. 1578
From translation by Tyler of The First Part of the Mirrour of Princely Deeds and Knyghthood: Dedication and the Epistle to the Reader,

Jane Anger, fl. 1589
Jane Anger her Protection for Women

Ester Sowernam, fl. 1617
From Ester Hath Hang’d Haman: Address; From Chapter 7

Joane Sharp, fl. 1617
A Defence of Women: Poem concluding Ester Sowernam’s Ester Hath Hang’d Haman

Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, 1623-1673
From Philosophical and Physical Opinions: Preface To the Two Most Famous Universities of England, 1655
From The Convent of Pleasure, 1668

Katherine Fowler Philips, 1631-1664
From Poems by the Most Deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda, 1667

Margaret Askew Fell Fox, 1614-1702
From Womens Speaking Justified, 1667

Mary Anne Radcliffe, 1746?-after 1810
From the Female Advocate, 1799

Supplementary Readings: Works Not Excerpted