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Women's History Month 1999
Feminist Foremothers
1400 to 1800

Sunshine

          In celebration of Women's History Month 1999, Sunshine for Women is bringing you a short biography on a women each day for the month of March. All of the women have two things in common: they all wrote overtly feminist tracts and they all wrote / published between 1400 and 1800. I hope you enjoy meeting these feminist foremothers. These biographies are presented in historical order more or less by date of the author's first important publication.

          Look for each day's entry to be posted about 8:00 PM EST, that's in the evening after work, folks.

    Sunny


    1

    Christine de Pizan
    (c.1364 - c.1431)
    Book of the City of Ladies (1405)
    Christine de Pizan Society
    2

    Isotta Nogarola
    (1418-1466)
    3

    Laura Cereta
    (1469-1499)
    Letters collected and published in a modern edition as Laura Cereta, Collected Letters of a Renaissance Feminist (1997) also try Penn
    4

    Antonia Pulci
    (1452 - 1501)
    Modern collection published as Florentine Drama for Convent and Festival
    5

    Tullia d'Aragona
    (1510 - 1556)
    Dialogue on the Infinity of Love (1547)
    6

    Jane Anger
    (fl.1589)
    Her Protection for Women (1589)
    7

    Moderata Fonte
    (aka Modesta Pozza)
    (1555 - 1592)
    The Worth of Women (1600)
    8

    Aemilia Lanyer
    (1569 - 1645)
    Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (Hail, God, King of the Jews, 1611)
    Three English women, Rachel Speght, Ester Sowernam, and Constantia Munda, wrote to defend women against Joseph Swetnam's misogynist The Arraignment of Lewd, idle, froward, and unconstant women or the vanity of them . . . (1615)
    9

    Rachel Speght
    (1597 - after 1620)
    A Mouzell for Melastomus (1617)
    10

    Ester Sowernam
    (1617)
    Ester Hath Hang'd Haman (1617)
    11

    Constantia Munda
    (Moral Constancy)
    (fl. 1617)
    Worming of a Mad Dog (1617)
    12

    Marie le Jars de Gournay
    (1565-1645)
    "The Equality of Men and Women" (1622) and
    The Ladies' Grievance (1626)
    13

    Maria de Zayas y Sotomayor
    (1590 - 1661/69)
    14

    Mary Tattlewell and
    Joan Hit-him-home
    (fl. 1640)
    The Women's Sharp Revenge (1640)
    15

    Anna Maria von Schurmann
    (1607-1678)
    The Learned Maid: Or Whether a Maid may be a Scholar (c. 1650) (more info)
    16

    Arcangela Tarabotti
    (1604-1652)
    Paternal Tyranny (1654)
    17

    Margaret Lucas Cavendish,
    Duchess of Newcastle
    (1623 - 1673)
    14 works between 1653 and 1668 (RWO at Brown University)
    18

    Margaret Askew Fell Fox
    (1614 - 1702)
    Women's Speaking Justified (1667)
    19

    Bathsua Makin
    (1600 - after 1673)
    An Essay to Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen (1673)
    20

    Sarah Fyge Field Egerton
    (1670 - 1723)
    The Female Advocate (1686)
    Poems on Several Occasions (1703)
    21

    Juana de la Cruz
    (1648 - 1695)
    Reply to Sor Philothea (c. 1690)
    22

    Mary Astell
    (1668-1731)
    A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (part 1 1694, part 2 1697) and Some Reflections Upon Marriage (1700)
    23

    Mary Lee, Lady Chudleigh
    (1656-1710)
    The Ladies' Defence (1701, HTML at Penn), Poems on Several Occasions (1703), and Essays upon Several Subjects (1710)
    24

    Mary Collier
    (1689/90 - after 1759)
    The Woman's Labour (1739)
    25

    The Bluestockings
    (2nd half of 18th century)
    Selections from Bluestocking Letters
    26

    Catherine Sawbridge Macaulay Graham
    (1731-1791)
    Letters on Education (1790)
    27

    Judith Sargent Murray
    (1751-1820)
    "On the Equality of the Sexes" (1790)
    28

    Olympe de Gouges
    (1755-1793)
    "Declaration of the Rights of Women" (1791)
    29

    Mary Wollstonecraft
    (1759-1797)
    Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
    30

    Mary Anne Radcliffe
    (1746- after 1810)
    The Female Advocate (1799)
    31Summary / Conclusions

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    e-mail sunshine@pinn.net

    Sunshine for Women encourages you to support our feminist sisters by purchasing their books, reading them, disseminating the ideas they contain, but most especially, by making their book available to our sisters, our daughters, and the community at large by requesting your school library, your public library, and area bookstores to carry their books. Remember it is not enough to write literature, history, and theology, we must pass these works on to future generations. Help us to preserve these works for a new generation by putting them on library bookshelves.

    Copyrighted, created and maintained by Sunshine, 1999. You have Sunshine's permission to copy and disseminate this document as long as it is attributed to Sunshine and Sunshine's URL appears on the document.

    last updated March 1999