Women Writing the English Republic, 1625-1681
Cambridge University Press
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Scholars have fiercely debated the causes of the English Civil Wars and the rise of anti-monarchical and republican thought a century before the American Revolution. This ambitious and highly original book is the first to argue that women played a significant role in formulating and enacting English republican precepts. Even as feminists contend that republicanism's division of the private from the public sphere excluded women from political power, Gillespie demonstrates how seventeenth-century Englishwomen articulated republicanism's key insight: meaningful action, political or otherwise, does and should take place outside the purview of government, in spheres that not only include women, but that women helped construct. Drawing on the works of six women writers of the period, the book examines their writings and explores the key themes and concepts that they build upon.
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