Caroline Frances Cornwallis

(1786—1858) author and feminist

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Caroline Frances Cornwallis was born in Kent and died in Lidwells, also in Kent, on 8 January 1858. The younger daughter of a country rector, she was a bookish and precocious child (apparently a poet and essayist at seven years old) who overcame ill-health to educate herself on a polymathic scale. She learnt Latin, Greek and Hebrew, as well as several modern languages; and in time she became adept also in history, politics, law, science and philosophy. Education itself, however, was her particular interest, and she campaigned hard both for the entry of women into universities and for the establishment of so-called ‘ragged schools’. Cornwallis never married, although she received a proposal from the Swiss historian Sismondi. She lived for long periods in Italy, and had a special fondness for Tuscany. In the end she returned to England for good.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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