English Short Title Catalog Entry for Astell's Reflections Upon Marriage (ed. prin. 1700)

ESTC System No.   006132660
ESTC Citation No.   R32824
Author - personal   LinkAstell, Mary, 1668-1731.
Title   LinkSome reflections upon marriage, occasion’d by the Duke & Dutchess of Mazarine’s case; which is also consider’d.
Publisher/year   LinkLondon : printed for John Nutt near Stationers-Hall, 1700.
Physical descr.   [4], 98, [2] p. ;  8o.
General note   The last leaf is blank.
  Signatures: A² B-G2 H².


        The Norton inexplicably omits the rest of the essay's title, which refers explicitly to the then-notorious divorce proceedings involving the Duchess of Mazarine, her neighbor and friend.  Ruth Perry offers a précis of the duke's behavior toward his wife and children: "A religious fanatic, he woke his young wife in the middle of the night to tell her his visions and forbade her to nurse the baby on fast days.  Sexually obsessed, he mutilated the magnificent statues at the Palais Mazarine and splashed paint on the nudes to make them 'decent."  He wanted to forbid his farmers to milk cows because it looked so obscene, and he once considered sawing off the teeth of his young daughters to make them unattractive and thus to protect them from future sexuality" (Chicago: U Chicago P, 1986; 305.42 A853Sp).    Astell's response was of her era, not our own, and the Norton omits this uncomfortable part, too.  Basing her analysis of marriage relations on John Locke's theory of the human rights descending from God in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (London: The Bassett, 1690), she allows Locke's assertion that men were given governance of their wives in Genesis.  From this, she concludes that if women are so ill-advised or thoughtless as to marry men like the duke, they must live with them in obedience, as one might "tend the pigs."  The alternative, of course, is not to marry at all and avoid the trap.  Click here for how many times the English Short Title Catalogue says this essay was published.