Mary Astell (1668–1731), Sophia and Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97)
This chapter looks at the views of Mary Astell and Sophia, before focusing on the work of Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Astell is known for her work on the impoverished living conditions of working-class women and how this affected other aspects of their lives. Sophia is an anonymous author who assessed that to fight prejudice one needs both a reasoned argument and a counter-ideology. Wollstonecraft is known to be the first theoretical feminist writer, as well as the ‘founder or foremother of Western feminism’. She has also contributed significantly to the feminist cause and feminist theory and is revealed to have borrowed ideas from Locke and Rousseau.
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