Jacqueline Broad presents a new account of the philosophy of Mary Astell (1666-1731), which situates Astells feminist, political, and religious views in the context of her wider philosophical vision. She argues that at the heart of Astells thought lies a theory of virtue which emphasises generosity of character, benevolence, and moderation.
This volume serves as an introduction to a rich and as yet under-explored period in the history of women's ideas. The volume provides a partial insight into the richness and complexity of women's political ideas in the centuries prior to the French Revolution. The essays in this collection examine women's political writings with particular reference to the themes of virtue (especially the virtue of phronesis or prudence), liberty, and toleration.