This ground-breaking book surveys the history of women's political thought in Europe from the late medieval period to the early modern era. The authors examine women's ideas about topics such as the basis of political authority, the best form of political organisation, justifications of obedience and resistance, and concepts of liberty, toleration, sociability, equality, and self-preservation. Women's ideas concerning relations between the sexes are discussed in tandem with their broader political outlooks; and the authors demonstrate that the development of a distinctively sexual politics is reflected in women's critiques of marriage, the double standard, and women's exclusion from government. Women writers are also shown to be indebted to the ancient idea of political virtue, and to be acutely aware of being part of a long tradition of female political commentary. This work will be of tremendous interest to political philosophers, historians of ideas, and feminist scholars alike.
Jacqueline Broad is an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics at Monash University. She is author of Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century (2002) and co-editor of Virtue, Liberty, and Toleration: Political Ideas of European Women, 1400-1800 (2007). Karen Green is Associate Professor in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics at Monash University. She is author of Drummett: Philosophy of Language (2001) and The Woman of Reason (1995).
Preface; Introduction; 1. Christine de Pizan; 2. Women of the Italian Renaissance; 3. From Anne de Beaujeu to Marguerite de Navarre; 4. Queen Elizabeth I of England; 5. From the Reformation to Marie le Jars de Gournay; 6. Women of the English Civil War era; 7. Quaker women; 8. The Fronde and Madeleine de Scudery; 9. Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle; 10. Women of the Glorious Revolution; 11. Women of late seventeenth-century France; 12. Mary Astell; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.