Missing from much of the scholarship on 18th century British politics is recognition of the extensive participation of aristocratic women. Fortunately, as a literate and self-conscious group, these women created and preserved vast manuscript collections now available to historians. In Sacred to Female Patriotism, Judith S. Lewis taps into these sources to demonstrate how the social and political worlds of Georgian Britain interacted to give women an influential voice in politics that was previously unimagined. The result is a lively, powerful, and important story that challenges many of our comfortable stereotypes of the past while providing us with a better understanding of 18th century electoral politics in general.
Judith Lewis is an Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
"Sacred to Female Patriotism is the most important book in women's history for at least a decade. It is a beacon of light, showing the way forward not only in gender studies, but even more importantly, 18th century British politics. At last, the great women aristocrats of the Georgian era are revealed in all their ambition and acumen." -- Amanda Foreman, Author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
"Lewis' book is a great achievement. Based on prodigious original research and effective use of theory, Lewis' book sheds light on major issues of politics, class, gender, and the vexed question of 'separate spheres' in a beautifully written, engaging work." -- M. Jeanne Peterson, Indiana University
"In a brilliant book, Judith Lewis sets out to do for female aristocrats what E.P. Thompson did for radicalized artisans and Anna Clark did for female factory workers: bring them into the full consciousness of the wider historical profession. In my opinion, the work is important enough that few will be able to write about the social or political history of late Hanoverian Britain or Ireland without consulting it." -- James J. Sack, University of Illinois at Chicago, Author of From Jacobite to Conservative: Reaction and Orthodoxy in Britain, 1760-1832
"Lewis's book is a considerable achievement. It is based on monumental research, and her findings are presented with wit and style. It should also prove to be seminal: anyone who reads it will be obliged to accept a considerably altered view of Georgian politics and gender relations."
-- -John Sainsbury, Brock University