Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutions

Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutions

Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutions

Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutions


This volume brings together an unprecedented gathering of women and men from the Atlantic World during the Age of Revolutions. Featuring hard-to-find writings from colonists and colonized, citizens and slaves, religious visionaries and scandal-dogged actresses, these wide-ranging selections present a panorama of the diverse, vibrant world facing women during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. An expansive introduction, along with rich contextual headnotes, makes this an indispensable text for students and scholars of literature, history, and women's and gender studies.With writings from figures like Aphra Behn, Phillis Wheatley, Thomas Jefferson, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Toussaint L'Ouverture, to name just a few,Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutionsrecovers the revolutionary moment in which women stepped into a globalizing world and imagined themselves free.


Towards the end of the eighteenth century a change came about which, if I were
rewriting history, I should describe more fully and think of greater importance than
the Crusades or the Wars of the Roses. The middle-class woman began to write

—Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own


In April 1776, Abigail Adams sat down at her writing desk in her home in Braintree, Massachusetts, to discuss with her friend, the revolutionary playwright Mercy Otis Warren, the possibility that women might gain from the American Revolution. The Revolution was the culmination of a long series of trade, territorial, and political conflicts between England and its colonies in North America that had steadily escalated into warfare. For more than a year, British troops and American militiamen had been skirmishing in New York and Massachusetts, with many major battles fought in Boston, just twelve miles north of the Adams family home. Warren had hosted strategy meetings at her home for the revolutionary group the Sons of Liberty and wrote plays that boldly decried the British Empire. Like many other American revolutionary women, Adams and Warren organized and participated in boycotts of British goods and other political actions. They followed news from battles fought close to home, and read revolutionary pamphlets such as Thomas Paine’s influential Common Sense, published in . . .

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