American Women Writers to 1800

By Sharon M. Harris | Go to book overview

Feminist Visions

Elizabeth Magawley (fl. 1730-31)

Elizabeth Magawley was a razor-sharp satirist and, when it came to both politics and letters, a pragmatist. During the early 1730s, her works appeared in the American Weekly Mercury, published in Philadelphia. In January 1730/31, under the pseudonym "Generosa," Magawley published a letter to the editor, Andrew Bradford, in which she challenged the repeated depictions of women in his gazette as fools who preferred "Fops and Coxcombs" to "Men of Sense." Magawley astutely notes the biases in such assertions but also is one of the first writers to explicitly challenge the gendering of language, especially in the construction of "Woman," and insisting, "The Word Ladies is an ambiguous Term, to which no single Idea can be affix'd."

Magawley challenged the "Wits and Poets" of the region, a collection of notable male writers who often published in the Mercury, to more rationally address issues concerning love and the sexes. Two responses emerged immediately: one from "Generosus," whose extravagant and lavish praise of her wisdom suggests as much mockery as serious admiration, ends in a proposal of marriage, noting that it is a topic she failed to mention; and a second from "Ignavus," who amusingly wants to defend the coxcombs of the world. In a subsequent poem, however, Ignavus strikes out at Generosa, who he implies must be an aging woman. Obviously recognizing in Ignavus's poem the idea that only aging and bitter women would challenge the ways in which men grant attention to women, Magawley responded in a resounding poetic satire of the entire group of male wits who were recognized in the pages of the Mercury.

As David Shields has discerned, in "The Wits and Poets of Pennsylvania" Magawley casts herself as the true poet (against the burlesque or simply inadequate styles of the male wits) and as a literary critic. Not only does Magawley satirize the poetic shortcomings of her opponents, but she also challenges their visions of

-137-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Women Writers to 1800
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Note on the Text xii
  • Introduction 3
  • I- The Ages of Women 31
  • Youthful Reflections 41
  • On Women''s Education 63
  • Domestic Records 79
  • Businesswomen''s Writings 105
  • "Death-Bed" Declarations Skate''Ne (choctaw) 123
  • II- Emerging Feminist Voices 133
  • Feminist Visions 137
  • III- Origins, Revolutions, and Women in the Nations 161
  • First Women 173
  • Spiritual Narratives 197
  • Captivity Narratives and Travel Journals 217
  • Epistolary Exchanges 235
  • Petitions, Political Essays, and Organizational Tracts 251
  • Revolutionary War Writings 269
  • Poetry 303
  • Histories 349
  • Drama 373
  • Novels 393
  • Notably Early American Women 413
  • Selected Bibliography 421
  • Index 432
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 452

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.