The Conway Letters: The Correspondence of Anne, Viscountess Conway, Henry More, and Their Friends, 1642-1684

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Marjorie Hope Nicolson, Sarah Hutton
Clarendon Press, 1992 - Philosophy - 592 pages
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Lady Anne Conway was a remarkable woman who became a philosopher in her own right at a time when most women were denied even basic education. The Conway Letters is the record of her friendship with the Cambridge Platonist Henry More, which began when he acted as her unofficial tutor in philosophy and lasted until her death in 1679. The letters cover a wide range of topics--personal, philosophical, religious, and social. They give a detailed picture of the More-Conway circle, including such figures as Jeremy Taylor, Ralph Cudworth, Robert Boyle, and Francis Mercury van Helmont, as well as Lady Conway's Quaker associates George Keith and William Penn. The letters are thus a valuable source for mid-seventeenth-century history, and especially for the intellectual history of the period. This revised edition reprints all the letters from the original edition, published in 1930, together with Marjorie Nicolson's biographical account of Anne Conway and Henry More, with its emphasis on the personal side of their relationship. A new Appendix contains some important letters not included in the first edition, among them the early discussion of Cartesianism. The Introduction by Sarah Hutton sets the book in the context of recent scholarship.

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About the author (1992)

The late Marjorie Hope Nicolson was William Trent Peterfield Professor of English at Smith College, Columbia.

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