Women of Letters: Gender, Writing and the Life of the Mind in Early Modern England

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Women of letters writes a new history of English women's intellectual worlds using their private letters as evidence of hidden networks of creative exchange. The book argues that many women of this period engaged with a life of the mind and demonstrates the dynamic role letter-writing played in the development of ideas. Until now, it has been assumed that women's intellectual opportunities were curtailed by their confinement in the home. This book illuminates the household as a vibrant site of intellectual thought and expression. Amidst the catalogue of day-to-day news in women's letters are sections dedicated to the discussion of books, plays and ideas. Through these personal epistles, Women of letters offers a fresh interpretation of intellectual life in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, one that champions the ephemeral and the fleeting in order to rediscover women's lives and minds.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages216
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7849-9813-4
ISBN (Print)978-0-7190-9942-7
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2016

Publication series

NameGender in History
PublisherManchester University Press


  • gender
  • letter-writing
  • intellectual life
  • domestic space
  • women's writing


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