AN ENQUIRY INTO THE DUTIES OF THE FEMALE SEX.
London: Cadell, Davies, 1797. First Edition. 8vo, pp. 426. Uncut and unopened. Bound in contemporary 3/4 calf and marble boards. Little light foxing, title page toned and cropped, affecting the contemporary ownership signature of A Barclay, o/w a very good clean tight copy. Item #47008
Thomas Gisborne (1758-1846) was an Anglican priest and one of the Clapham Sect, who fought for the abolition of the slave trade in England. He was a close friend of Hannah More. He argued that women's subordinate nature is innate while holding the view that women should not conceal their intellectual abilities, and that parents should never force their daughters into marriage. He commended the traditional feminine virtues and the domestic role for women. Written as a reaction to Wollstonecraft's radical assertion of the equality of the sexes by the utilitarian intimate of Wilberforce and friend of Hannah More. This was much reprinted both in Britain and the US. The text deals extensively with the domestic responsibilities of women in a marriage. There are notes about letter writing, introducing a young girl into society, Sunday concerts as well as the dangers of gaming and other amusements, cards and music on the young female mind.