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Advocate and exemplar of women's education, female of aristocratic birth and modest demeanor, Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678) was one of Reformation Europe's most renowned writers defending women's intelligence. From her early teens, Schurman garnered recognition and admiration for her accomplishments in languages, philosophy, poetry, and painting. As an adult she actively engaged in written correspondence and debate with Europe's leading intellectuals. Nevertheless, Schurman refused to regard herself as an anomaly among women. A supporter of the female sex, she argues that the same rigorous education that shaped her should be made available to all Christian daughters of the aristocracy.
Gathered here in meticulous translation are Anna Maria van Schurman's defense of women's education, her letters to other learned women, and her own account of her early life, as well as responses to her work from male contemporaries, and rare writings by Schurman's mentor, Voetius. This volume will interest the general reader as well as students of women's, religious, and social history.