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

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Abstract

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

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