Ann Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment.
Barbauld [1743-1825] was a political writer, poet, teacher, essayist, edictor and critic. Running a school with her husband in a Suffolk village, she revolutionized the nation's ideas about childhood with books she wrote that sold thousands. Living in the time of the American and French Revolutions, Napoleonic Wars, and struggles for religious equality, she strove to defend Enlightenment principles with her essays, and political writings. Wordsworth and Coleridge were inspired by her poetry. Standing on the same stage with Edmund Burke and William Godwin, and writing political essays arguing for religious liberty and separation of church and state, she inspired Mary Wollstonecraft. She wrote the first biography of Samuel Johnson. Her writings about women's rights, empire, slavery, the working class, and other political issues affected many who acted on her ideas in reforming the government. McCarthy spent 15 years researching and producing a thorough biography of this woman who was one of the most important writers in the late 18th and early 19th century, and her concerns are still our concerns today. 725 pages. Illustrated. Thorough endnotes and index. Handsome blue cloth with gilt title. Jacket and book like new, except that the previous owner expressed some opinions in pencil on pages 422-427. Book is now out of print in hardbound. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 2008. Hb, Dj. USED. $40.00