Mary Astell: Reflections on Marriage. (1359 words)
- Jennie Batchelor (University of Kent at Canterbury)
Mary Astell's Reflections Upon Marriage (1700) is, in many ways, the philosophical antecedent to her previous work, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (Part I 1694; Part II 1697). In its exploration of the fundamental inequality of marriage and the unhappy consequences of an ill-judged match, the Reflections outlined many of the problems for which her earlier proposal for female education offered a solution.
Astell's Reflections was inspired by the marriage and acrimonious split of her notorious neighbour, the Duchess of Mazarine. In Mazarine's story, Astell found a perfect exemplum of the “dangers of an ill Education and an unequal marriage” her text explores. The Duke of Mazarine was cruel, mad, …
Batchelor, Jennie. "Reflections on Marriage. ". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2446, accessed 23 October 2016.]