This collection of essays includes studies of women's political writings from Christine de Pizan to Mary Wollstonecraft and explores in depth the political ideas of the writers in their historical and intellectual context. The volume illuminates the limitations placed on women's political writings and their broader political role by the social and scholarly institutions of early modern Europe. In so doing, the authors probe legal and political restraints, distinct national and state organisation, and assumptions concerning women's proper intellectual interests. In this endeavour, the volume explores questions and subjects traditionally ignored by historians of political thought and little considered even by current feminist theorists, groups who give slight attention to women's political ideas or place women's writings within the social and intellectual structures from which they emerged and which they helped to shape.
...this is an excellent collection..." Ruth Perry, American Historical Review "I heartily recommend this book. it will be of interest to students and scholars in early modern history, poltical theory, and literature, and to feminists interested in the history of feminism." Jane Donaworth, Sixteenth Century Journal "...this valuable collection suggests powerfully the enormous variety of European women's political activities and arguments before the francise." Paula McDowell, Albion "...this volume is essential reading for those who want to come to terms with the ways in which gender factors into the politics or early modern England." Canadian Journal of Political Science