Reconsidering the Bluestockings
Edited by: Nicole Pohl and Betty A. Schellenberg
Format: 294 pages, paper, 7 x 10
Release Date: 2005-01-13
About this Book
The Bluestockings were learned English women and men who gathered during the second half of the eighteenth century at the London salons hosted by Elizabeth Montagu and her friend Elizabeth Vesey. The ten essays in this volume, first published in 2003, explore the Bluestockings' social, economic, and intellectual achievements, including the publication of fiction and criticism, their plans for a utopian community, their charitable enterprises, and the management of a large coal-mining concern. The Bluestockings enlarged the boundaries of what women could think, write, and do, less by overt political action than by their exemplary pursuit of intellectual improvement and their commitment to civic virtue in the context of polite sociability.
Read an excerpt from this book
About the Author
Nicole Pohl is a lecturer at University College Northampton. She is the coeditor of Female Communities, 1600-1800:Literary Visions and Cultural Realities. Betty A. Schellenberg is Associate Professor of English at Simon Fraser University and the author of The Conversational Circle: Rereading the English Novel, 1740-1775.
This volume includes contributions by Elizabeth Child, Elizabeth Eger, Harriet Guest, Deborah
Heller, Gary Kelly, Susan Lanser, Jane Magrath, Emma Major, Betty
Rizzo, and Susan Staves.
(also published as Huntington Library Quarterly 65:1&2)
Reviews of Reconsidering the Bluestockings:
"The collection is made more useful, especially for beginners, by a description of the Huntington's collection, a set of brief biographies of the principal Bluestocking women, and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary works. Some essays report on solid biographical findings; others are more provocative and critical; all are readable, even for undergraduates. The volume is also both attractive and pleasingly inexpensive, making it within reach of individuals as well as libraries."—Choice
"Building upon Sylvia Harcstark Myers' 1990 The Bluestocking Circle, Pohl and Schellenberg seek to complicate scholarly understanding of the Bluestockings' place in eighteenth-century England. The editors accomplish this goal, for reading the essays together creates nuances that might otherwise be lost if one were to read them out of context from the others. . . . By packaging several perspectives together, Reconsidering the Bluestockings creates a more thorough context for future scholarship. The book is, in short, the most valuable kind of scholarship: it provokes questions rather than answers them."—New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century
“Reconsidering the Bluestockings... underscores the sociable nature of female intellectual pursuit in the latter half of the eighteenth-century…displaying the significance and breadth of intellectual sociability among the Bluestockings – not only in London but in the provinces – and unfolding the politics, religious sensibility, aesthetics, and feminist character of its major writers. The historiographical review by the editors, Mary Robertson’s description of the rich Huntington Library archive of the letters of Elizabeth Robinson Montagu, the biographical sketches of its major figures, and the Bluestocking bibliography make this volume a good starting point for exploring this strand of eighteenth-century intellectual life.” – Studies in English Literature