Who is Mary Astell?
- her contributions
- significance to her time period (1666-1731)
- cool facts
-- Hi! I've been researching anywhere but I can't find some of the things above. I'm going to act like her tomorrow and they just gave the things we need to know about the person yesterday, so please help me :) x
Mary Astell is widely regarded as England’s first feminist writer. She was most passionate about equality in educational opportunities for women. She wrote at least seven books that were published in London and widely read which suggested expanded opportunities in education and careers for women. Although most people in England saw these as “too Catholic” and “unthinkable” but her arguments were written her plainly and clearly, establishing her as a competent rhetorical writer.
She was significant for her period because there were no well-written or quotable female authors at that point in England, and she helped began the careers of women such as Mary Wollstonecraft and other feminist writers.
Some interesting facts about her include that only four complete letters of hers actually survive, so we know very little about her personal life. In addition to her published books, we have four letters. These letters only survived because they were written to important men. She had an alcoholic uncle who, after getting kicked out of the Church of England, taught her to read and write.