Gender, Religion, and Radicalism in the Long Eighteenth Century: The 'Ingenious Quaker' and Her Connections

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Routledge, Nov 30, 2017 - History - 204 pages
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Through analysis of the life and writings of eighteenth-century Quaker artist and author Mary Knowles, Judith Jennings uncovers concrete but complex examples of how gender functioned in family, social, and public contexts during the Georgian Age. Knowles's story, including her bold confrontation of Samuel Johnson and public dispute with James Boswell, serves as a lens through which to view larger connections, such as the social transformation of English Quakers, changing concepts of gender and the transmission of radical political ideology during the era of the American and French revolutions. Further, Jennings offers a more nuanced view of the participation of "middling" women in radical politics through an examination of Knowles's theological beliefs, social networks and political opinions at a time when the American and French Revolutions reshaped political ideology. By analyzing Mary Knowles's connections-both male and female-Jennings contributes new understanding about how sociability operated, encompassing women and men of various faiths and ethnic origins.

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Contents

List of Illustrations
Matrimony Monarchy and Fame
Confronting Samuel Johnson
Revolutionary Politics and Literary Skirmishes
Defying James Boswell
The French Revolution and a New Note
Help Me To Pray
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

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About the author (2017)

Judith Jennings currently directs the Kentucky Foundation for Women, a private fund supporting feminist artists working for positive social change. Her first book, The Business of Abolishing the British Slave Trade, focused on Quaker abolition activities.

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