[John Rogers retired as Editor of the BJHP in March 2011. We are delighted to publish this specially commissioned appreciation of John's work by Sarah Hutton, who has been on the Editorial Board since the founding of the journal in 1993 and who was Chair of the British Society for the History of Philosophy from 1998 to 2004. (Ed.)].
Sarah Hutton sets Anne Conway in her historical and philosophical context in this intellectual biography of one of the very first English women philosophers. Hutton traces Conway's intellectual development in relation to friends and associates, and documents her interest in religion--which extended beyond Christian orthodoxy to Quakerism, Judaism and Islam. Her book offers insight into the personal life of a very private woman, and the richness of seventeenth-century intellectual culture.
Lady Anne Conway was a remarkable woman who became a philosopher in her own right at a time when most women were denied even basic education. The Conway Letters is the record of her friendship with the Cambridge Platonist, Henry More, which began when he acted as her unofficial tutor in philosophy and lasted until her death. The letters cover a wide range of topics - personal, philosophical, religious, and social. They give a detailed picture of the More-Conway circle, including (...) such figures as Jeremy Taylor, Ralph Cudworth, Robert Boyle, and Francis Mercury van Helmont, as well as Lady Conway's Quaker associates, George Keith and William Penn. The letters are thus a valuable source for mid-seventeenth-century history, and especially for the intellectual history of the period. -/- This revised edition reprints all the letters from the original 1930 edition, together with Marjorie Nicolson's biographical account of Anne Conway and Henry More. A new appendix contains some important letters not included in the first edition, among them the early discussion of Cartesianism. The introduction by Sarah Hutton sets the book in the context of recent scholarship. (shrink)