Women Writers of the Seventeenth Century Seventeenth-Century Feminists - Essay

Seventeenth-Century Feminists

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Hilda L. Smith (essay date 1982)

SOURCE: "Feminism and Its Seventeenth-Century Adherents," in Reason's Disciples: Seventeenth-Century English Feminists, University of Illinois Press, 1982, pp. 3-17.

[In the following essay, Smith examines the development of feminist thought during the seventeenth century, asserting that the movement was influenced by the rise of revolutionary political ideology and the weakening of women's social power and a sense of purpose during the late 1600s.]

During the second half of the seventeenth century a group of English women began to write critically about their exclusion from educational institutions and...

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