By Sarah Hutton
Sarah Hutton units Anne Conway in her historic and philosophical context during this highbrow biography of 1 of the first actual English girls philosophers. Hutton strains Conway's highbrow improvement in terms of buddies and colleagues, and records her curiosity in religion--which prolonged past Christian orthodoxy to Quakerism, Judaism and Islam. Her booklet deals perception into the private lifetime of a really inner most lady, and the richness of seventeenth-century highbrow tradition.
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Additional info for Anne Conway: A Woman Philosopher
Hastings MSS, HA 14347 and HA 1439. Edward Conway to George Rawdon, 20 Feb. 1650, Hastings MSS, HA 14349. 33 Of Edward Conway’s education we know little. 34 The Civil War disrupted the tour of Europe on which he had embarked in 1640. From this we may conclude that he was not a man of learning. However, this does not mean that his cultural horizons were narrow. On the contrary, his father was a highly cultured man, abreast of new developments in philosophy and literature, with a large range of interests from ‘chymistry’ to writing plays.
Building work started after the death of his wife Anne, and he made provision for its completion in his will. Lord Conway’s choice of Hooke as architect may have been the result of a recommendation from the Boyle family. Equally, he was probably impressed by the celebrated Montagu House, designed by Hooke for Baron Montagu, and situated not far from his London house in Queen Street. Robert Hooke, Fellow of the Royal Society (1635–1703) is best known as an engineer and for his work on microscopes.
It is a letter which both reveals and conceals. But the surface of this letter uses the terminology and categories of an acceptable stereotype. It might be argued that it was childlessness that gave Anne Conway leisure to philosophise. But we should remember that motherhood was not necessarily an impediment for women of her class who wished to cultivate their minds. It is true that several of the small band of female philosophers of her time were women who had no children, for example Princess Elizabeth, Margaret Cavendish and Queen Christina of Sweden.