This book explores the way women were viewed by Anglo-American culture in the middle decades of the eighteenth century, with particular emphasis on changing ideas regarding gendered definitions of public and private. It first considers the observations of Sir Robert Filmer, the English political theorist, on contemporary understandings of women's relationship to politics and governance during his time. It then provides an overview of the chapters that follow, which discuss topics ranging from the political activism of Lady Frances Berkeley in Virginia in 1675–1678, to the political organizing of the groups of English women during the Civil War of the 1640s, the process of excluding women from the public and political, John Dunton's view of women as the fair sex, and the concept of the feminine private.
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