Reviewed by Helen Thompson bio Mary Astell.
A Serious Proposal to the Ladiesed.
An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting was a conduct book written by Jane Collier and published in The Essay was Collier's first work, and operates as a. An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting has 91 ratings and 7 reviews. Bekah said: In short, keep up in your mind the true spirit of contradiction. Jane Collier. An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting, ed. Audrey Bilger. Peterborough: Broadview Press, pp. US$; CAN$ Click to read more about An essay on the art of ingeniously tormenting: with proper rules for the exercise of that pleasant art by Jane Collier. LibraryThing is a. 'Now the sport begins!' An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting is the first English book on the craft of nagging. A bitingly funny social satire, it is also an.
An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormentinged. Astell's appeal is elucidated by her editor Patricia Springborg, who explains that "Freedom Astell understands classically as the capacity to embrace a principle of conduct and follow it" Serious Proposal promotes a vision of "Liberty" realized as the practice of both rational and impassioned virtue article source women "use due endeavours to procure a lively relish of our true Good" Astell's endorsement of " Religious Retirement " 73 as a means to this end—a woman "who is a Christian out of Choice, not in conformity to those about her; and cleaves to Piety, because 'tis her Wisdom, her Interest, her Joy, not because she [End Page ] has been accustom'd to it" 70 —disavows any pretence to "usurp Authority where it is not allow'd; permit us only to understand our own duty, and not be forc'd to take it on trust from others" But a woman's lively understanding of her " own duty" does significantly encroach upon the "Authority" that would enforce rotely feminized "conformity" or, as Astell also puts it, "Nauseous repetition" : Astell's defence of the strenuously virtuous use of "Natural Liberty" inversely repudiates the arbitrariness of the masculine authority that, in order to turn women into "little useless and impertinent Animals" 76refuses to acknowledge them "as capable of Learning as Men are" Springborg's introduction and notes vitally amplify Serious Proposal 's generic, political, and philosophical ambitions.
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By showing Astell's pervasive debt to Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole's Port Royal Logic or the Art of Thinking —credited by Astell when she explicates "the Method of Thinking" and " Natural Logic " —Springborg illuminates a line of intellectual filiation too easily obscured when one reads Serious Proposal from a solely Lockean vantage.
Springborg's account of Serious Proposal 's generic prehistory and afterlife—in particular, the unacknowledged inclusion of its chapter 3, sections 1—5 in George Berkeley's The Ladies Library of 23 —opens new assessments not only of its philosophical precursors but also of the extent of its future reach.
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By so amply restoring the urgency and specificity of the connections that made Astell, as Springborg affirms, "one of the most theologically serious and philosophically competent theorists of her age" 9this edition marks a transformative event in the eighteenth-century literary and philosophical canon.
I would identify Astell's indictment of "nothing but Authority" as a feminist iteration of John Locke's Two Treatises of Government ; but in so doing I diverge sharply from Springborg, who names Locke Nature and Art review. Classical Learning and Imitation in Fielding and Collier.
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