Mary Astell (12 November 1666 – 11 May 1731) was an English feminist writer and rhetorician. Her advocacy of equal educational opportunities for women has earned her the title "the first English feminist."
Few records of Mary Astell's life have survived. As biographer Ruth Perry explains, "as a woman she had little or no business in the world of commerce, politics, or law. She was born,... more »
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''Women are not so well united as to form an Insurrection. They are for the most part wise enough to love their Chains, and to discern how becomingly they fit.''Mary Astell (1666-1731), British author. Some Reflections Upon Marriage, 4th ed., Appendix (1730).