Rational Passions: Women and Scholarship in Britain, 1702 - 1870
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This anthology of primarily non-fiction works by British women (1702-1870) introduces readers to a range of lesser-known texts and examines thei authors'’ scholarly ambitions and often groundbreaking achievements.
Despite their lack of civil and political rights and in the absence of formal academic training, each of the writers profiled in this unique collection was anxious to establish herself as a serious contributor to what were regarded as male intellectual traditions. Students of women's history will be reacquainted with Harriet Martineau and Mary Hays' political writings while being introduced to Priscilla Wakefield, Jane Marcet, Ada Byron, and Mary Somerville's contributions to science and mathematics. Among others, Mary Shelley and Anna Jameson will intrigue readers with their innovative offerings to the expanding print culture.
A historical introduction and chronology provide the context for the primary sources which are arranged thematically. Biographical profiles and short commentaries are provided for each author.