Catharine Macaulay and Mercy Otis Warren: The Revolutionary by Kate Davies

By Kate Davies

Catharine Macaulay and Mercy Otis Warren have been radical neighbors in a innovative age. They produced definitive histories of the English Civil struggle and the yankee Revolution, attacked the British govt and the us federal structure, and instigated a debate on women's rights which impressed Mary Wollstonecraft, Judith Sargent Murray, and different feminists. Drawing on new learn (including lately stumbled on correspondence) this can be the 1st ebook to think about Macaulay and Warren within the context of the progressive Atlantic. In a chain of distinct interdisciplinary reviews, Davies indicates the centrality of either ladies to transatlantic political cultures among the center of the eighteenth century and the flip of the 19th. The adventure of Anglo-American clash shaped Macaulay and Warren's friendship and considerably replaced their writing lives. In exhibiting the way it did so, Davies additionally explains how the innovative Atlantic formed sleek principles of gender distinction. Anglo-American separation had a politics of gender which outlined Warren and Macaulay's understanding of themselves as ladies and of which their writing additionally provided vital evaluations. Davies's booklet unearths the political importance of Mercy Otis Warren and Catharine Macaulay to an period whilst the truths of patriotism, nationhood and empire have been by no means absolutely self-evident yet have been hotly contested.

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Additional info for Catharine Macaulay and Mercy Otis Warren: The Revolutionary Atlantic and the Politics of Gender

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The perspective then moves across the Atlantic, to colonies coming to terms with the dissolution of the imperial-sentimental family of which they saw themselves a part. Here I suggest that Mercy Otis Warren’s revolutionary correspondence with women reveals how conservative and normative ideas of privacy and feeling might be bound up with a sense of the public thought in the 1770s to be distinctively American. Chapter 5 examines a rather different Anglo-American conflict in the debate on national and cultural identity with which Macaulay and Warren were involved, as republicans and women of learning, in Boston during 1784–5.

As Whigs of a particular commonwealth hue, it was inevitable that Warren and Macaulay would find the ‘masculine’ classical ideal of liberty appealing. They might also describe the affirming qualities of their political intellects as ‘manly’ in ways that were clearly related to this ideal. 83 Yet, even as Macaulay and Warren associated the values of a generically ‘public’ masculinity with their own 80 J. G. A. Pocock, Barbarism and Religion II: Narratives of Civil Government (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 257.

In a letter of 1769 she writes to Thomas Hollis thanking him for one of his many gifts of the pamphlets and tracts that formed the raw research material of the later volumes of her History. 16 It is typical of Macaulay to be able to turn an expression of thanks into both a slur on the degeneracy of the times and the suggestion of her own superiority. ’17 Macaulay’s claim to disinterest in these letters is, of course, mere polite conceit, yet it also suggests how quickly, how easily, she might associate herself with an idea of public virtue.

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