Astell: Political Writings
Author(s): Mary Astell, Edited by Patricia Springborg
Publication Date: 10/10/1996
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The writings of the High Church Tory pamphleteer Mary Astell (1666–1731) are a remarkable and underestimated contribution to the constitutional debates which ushered in the modern liberal democratic state. An interlocutor with Swift and Defoe, Astell was perhaps the first systematic critic of Locke's writings, something which has been overlooked in the considerable literature evaluating the reception of Locke's Two Treatises on Government. Astell's political pamphlets Reflections upon Marriage, A Fair Way with Dissenters, and An Impartial Enquiry into the Origins of Rebellion ran to five editions in her lifetime, but have never been reprinted in their entirety. This new edition makes accessible the major works of a fine English stylist and important political theorist.