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Note on the Texts

Note on the Texts

(p.35) Note on the Texts
Three Cartesian Feminist Treatises
Marcelle Maistre WelchVivien Bosley
University of Chicago Press

The story of translating François Poullain de la Barre into English is not long, although it is not without its complexities. This is perhaps the first time that On the Education of Ladies and On the Excellence of Men have been translated into English, acknowledging that they are actually the work of their author. Parts of all three of Poullain's treatises were published anonymously as the Sophia pamphlets in 1739. The publication of these was proof that Poullain's works—although not Poullain himself—had remained buried somewhere in the consciousness of English readers. The seeds had been sown there some sixty years earlier when The Woman as Good as the Man, a translation of De l'Egalité des deux sexes, was published in 1677 by Nathaniel Brooks. Madeleine Alcover has made a detailed study of the various editions of the French texts of Poullain de la Barre's works; her assessment of their relative merits is invaluable.

Keywords:   François Poullain, Education of Ladies, Excellence of Men, treatises, pamphlets, Woman as Good, Nathaniel Brooks, translation, Madeleine Alcover

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