Anne Conway: A Woman Philosopher by Sarah Hutton

By Sarah Hutton

Sarah Hutton units Anne Conway in her old and philosophical context during this highbrow biography of 1 of the first actual English girls philosophers. Hutton lines Conway's highbrow improvement in terms of pals and co-workers, and files her curiosity in religion--which prolonged past Christian orthodoxy to Quakerism, Judaism and Islam. Her e-book deals perception into the non-public lifetime of a truly deepest lady, and the richness of seventeenth-century highbrow tradition.

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71). The house at Portmore was demolished in the eighteenth century: all that remains are the ruined outer walls. 69 Anne Conway pursued philosophy in the privacy of her own home. The space she made for philosophy in her life was very much a private space. ’72 Her letters cover a range of subjects, including domestic matters. But household and even estate management are topics reserved for letters to her husband and Irish relatives. In two unpublished letters she writes of the difficulties of obtaining a lady’s maid who can speak French and do her hair.

C. Christie 3 vols. (Manchester: Chetham Society, 1847–86), vol. III, p. 254. Hervey (1952). For drafts of the Cavendish–Pell letters, see British Library, MSS Additional 4,280 and 4,278. For Hobbes and the Cavendish circle, see chapter 5 below. BL, MS Additional 4,280, fols. 118r–v, 131r. John Pell (1611–85) was a mathematician, resident during the 1640s in the Netherlands. Sir William Boswell (d. 1649) was English ambassador at The Hague. Fordyce and Knox (1936–9). The anonymous English translator expresses great admiration for Descartes, calling him, ‘The great d e s c a rt e s (who may justly challenge the first place among Philosophers of this Age’.

75 The self-image she projects stands in vivid contrast to the incisive mind that could dissect Descartes and put Henry More to his ‘plunges’ for answers (to use his own expression). 76 Henry More, who knew her better than anyone, gives us little insight into her psyche. When he writes about her, More emphasises her virtue, her piety, her intelligence. The Anne Conway complimented by More in his letters to her is the exceptional woman: a kind of secular saint, remarkable for her virtue and piety, not the equal of men but their superior.

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