Lady Anne Conway was a remarkable woman who became a philosopher in her own right at a time when most women were denied even basic education. The Conway Letters is the record of her friendship with the Cambridge Platonist Henry More, which began when he acted as her unofficial tutor in philosophy and lasted until her death in 1679. The letters cover a wide range of topics--personal, philosophical, religious, and social. They give a detailed picture of the More-Conway circle, including such figures as Jeremy Taylor, Ralph Cudworth, Robert Boyle, and Francis Mercury van Helmont, as well as Lady Conway's Quaker associates George Keith and William Penn. The letters are thus a valuable source for mid-seventeenth-century history, and especially for the intellectual history of the period.
This revised edition reprints all the letters from the original edition, published in 1930, together with Marjorie Nicolson's biographical account of Anne Conway and Henry More, with its emphasis on the personal side of their relationship. A new Appendix contains some important letters not included in the first edition, among them the early discussion of Cartesianism. The Introduction by Sarah Hutton sets the book in the context of recent scholarship.
`a treasure-trove from the 17th century, a collection of correspondence mostly to and from the remarkable Lady Anne Conway ... A whole world comes to life in these pages.'
Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph
'excellent revised edition ... Sarah Hutton has managed to improve greatly ... a work of scholarship which has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most useful sources of insight into the intellectual and social life of late seventeenth-century England ... this superbly produced new edition will give libraries and the odd wealthy academic the opportunity to include it in their collections ... The Clarendon Press, and Sarah Hutton are to be congratulated ...
for making available once again what always was one of the most important and stimulating works of scholarship on late seventeenth-century intellectual life, and for succeeding in making it even more useful than it was before.'
John Henry, University of Edinburgh, British Journal for the History of Science, Volume 26, 1993