Date of Award

5-2-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Malinda Snow

Second Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Third Advisor

Paul Voss

Abstract

John Milton dedicated his life to forming a path to virtue for men to follow that included education, contemplation, divine illumination, and right reason. Milton promises that his path will lead others to a life of reason and a paradise within. Eighteenth-century women responded to Milton’s formula for virtue and appropriated his path for their own enlightenment. This project examines the way in which three eighteenth-century women, Mary Astell, Lady Mary Chudleigh, and Elizabeth Carter, incorporated Milton’s path to virtue into their writing and into their lives to redefine virtue for women.

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