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5 - Gender and Deliberative Equality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2020

Mark Philp
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
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Summary

The deliberative style of radicals around Godwin and Holcroft was driven by a belief in truth and candour and it was one which was especially prized in its binary form, in contrast to the tendency of public meetings and political associations to fall back on rhetoric. It was a discourse that insisted on deliberative equality, but did so in a powerfully hierarchical society, divided on lines of class, status and gender. Godwin and others were often successful in drawing young men into their circles and engaging in this deliberative practice; but it was much more challenging to do so with women. This chapter examines how a number of women sought to resist and negotiate Godwin’s deliberative dominance using a range of strategies to discomfit him, to challenge his intellectualism and to claim a position of equality.

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Chapter
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Radical Conduct
Politics, Sociability and Equality in London 1789-1815
, pp. 155 - 169
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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