Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sara Jane Bocciardi Bassett
The Bluestocking Society, also referred to as the “Bluestocking Circle” or merely “the bluestockings,” was a group of women intellectuals in England during the late 18th and early 19th century. Some of the more well-known members in the first generation of the bluestockings included Elizabeth Montagu, Catherine Talbot, Hester Chapone, and Elizabeth Carter. The term bluestocking was coined by Elizabeth Montagu and originally referred to one who dressed according to lower-class sensibilities. Montagu's “conversation parties,” an alternative to the cardplaying popular at the time, often included one bluestocking, Benjamin Stillingfleet, a highly educated man. Due to the attendance of Stillingfleet, the group began The ...