Irony and Culture in Feminist Educational Writings: Wollstonecraft, Macaulay, Edgeworth

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The context of the present paper is given by my research on philosophy of female education and the questions of female culture in the 18th and 19th centuries in England. I have been studying not only works of educationalist and philosophical concerns, but also literary works such as the education romans and utopias written in the related period. Female writings - either literary-utopian or educational-philosophical - seemingly rely on the framework and theoretical background of wellknown male works so that they should present a critical and ironical reading while also raise the questions of social solidarity and (e)quality in individual education. I will mainly highlight the strategies of feminist rhetoric, taking my textual examples from Mary Wollstonecraft’s anti- Rousseau A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), while I also refer to two of her contemporaries, Catherine Macaulay’s and Maria Edgeworth’s educational writings.

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Edgeworth, Maria, & Edgeworth, Richard Lovell (1798). Practical Education. London: J. Johnson.

Macaulay, Catherine (2014). Letters on Education: With Observations on Religious and Metaphysical Subjects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Wollstonecraft, Mary (2004). A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. London: Penguin Books.

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