Abstract

This article reexamines the early eighteenth-century writer Mary Astell’s paradoxical commitments as a “Tory feminist” in light of a previously unknown correspondence between Astell, an anonymous woman, and the nonjuring cleric George Hickes. Using evidence from these letters and her wider corpus, it proposes not only that Astell’s doctrine of passive obedience in Church and State was far less robust and far more provisional than we have often thought; but also that her feminist writings betray an anticlerical instinct which leads her into conflict with her High Church convictions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 507-523
Launched on MUSE
2008-07-13
Open Access
No
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