should they be forbidden to improve them? Since he has not denied us the faculty of thinking, why should we not (at least in gratitude to him) employ our thoughts on himself their noblest object, and not unworthily bestow them on trifles and gaieties and secular affairs?" Astell often adopted the anonymous pseudonym "a Lover of her Sex." She argued well, employing Augustan wit identifiable with her era. She adopted many of its recognizable terms and phrases, such as "an English Spirit and Genius" and "the Native Liberty, the rights and Privileges of the Subject." As her contemporaries did in the age of reason, she employed a clear logic in discussing a subject they did not often engage, the intellectual and moral lives of women.
The following year Astell published Letters Concerning the Love of God, dedicated to Lady Catherine Jones, and she published the second portion of her A Serious Proposal in 1697; in it she explained to her female audience how to pursue rational thought. Over the following decade Astell published tracts continuing to emphasize the natural equality of the sexes, managing to maintain balance between that belief and her continued support of the subjection of women to men. Her stance remained possible partly because she focused her claims on single women, remaining single herself. She lived out her life in Chelsea, supporting the founding of a charity school for girls that operated into the 19th century. A strong enough voice to be satirized by Jonathan Swift in the Tattler, Astell was later celebrated by Richard Steele in his The Ladies Library (1714). She apparently died of breast cancer and was buried in the Chelsea Church cemetery.
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