June 5th, 2014
Episode 387 of 550 episodes
The Bluestockings were a small group of intellectual women in the 18th century who met regularly to discuss literature and other matters. They invited some of the leading thinkers of the day to take part in their informal salons. In an age when women were not expected to be highly educated, the Bluestockings were sometimes regarded with suspicion or even hostility. But prominent members such as Elizabeth Montagu and the classicist Elizabeth Carter were highly regarded for their scholarship. Their accomplishments led to far greater acceptance of women as the intellectual equal of men, and furthered the cause of female education. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Karen O'Brien, Vice-Principal and Professor of English at King's College London; Elizabeth Eger, Reader in English Literature at King's College London and Nicole Pohl, Reader in English Literature at Oxford Brookes University.