The Fate of the Female Philosopher: Polwhele, More, Byron, and Beyond

  • Deborah WeissEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and the Cultures of Print book series (PERCP)


Through a brief discussion of works by Polwhele, More, and Byron, the conclusion traces shifting attitudes toward female intellectuality in the post-Enlightenment, post-Revolutionary period. The conclusion argues for the prescience of Polwhele’s The Unsex’d Females in presenting what would be the replacement of Wollstonecraftian concerns about female moral and intellectual autonomy and women’s role in social progress with a limited domestic, evangelical agenda promoted by Hannah More. The conclusion ends with noting the newly pejorative use of the term “bluestocking” in the early nineteenth century, a usage that at once indicates the disdain of influential writers such as Byron for intellectual women and the end of the influence of both Mary Wollstonecraft and late-Enlightenment feminism on configurations of female possibilities.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

Personalised recommendations