Florence M. Smith (essay date 1916)
Smith, Florence. “Character and Influence.” In Mary Astell, pp. 160-66. New York: Columbia University Press, 1916.
[In the following excerpt from her book-length study of Astell, Smith summarizes the views expressed in Astell's works and how they influenced later women writers.]
Although Mary Astell's chief interest was in the education of women, the variety of subjects she discussed and the different groups of people she knew show a catholic taste. Her interests lay, however, more in speculative writing than in pure literature. She had read widely in political and religious controversy and had a fair acquaintance with current philosophy. The “great Mr. Locke”...
(The entire section is 3368 words.)