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Abigail and John AdamsThe Americanization of Sensibility$
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G. J. Barker-Benfield

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226037431

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226037448.001.0001

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The Theory of Gendered Sensibility

The Theory of Gendered Sensibility

(p.101) Chapter 3 The Theory of Gendered Sensibility
Abigail and John Adams
University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides an account of the gendering of Reverend James Fordyce's theory of sensibility in his book titled Sermons to Young Women, which was greatly admired by Abigail Adams. It suggests that this book manifested a clear existential explanation for sensibility's gendering in terms with which Abigail largely agreed. The chapter also discusses Mary Wollstonecraft's criticism on Fordyce's gendered sensibility in her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which she considered as the most damaging form of sexism.

Keywords:   gendered sensibility, James Fordyce, Sermons, Abigail Adams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Rights of Woman, sexism

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