Battling quotes from London, 1673. In this corner:
Hannah Woolley (shown, left, from the frontispiece), author of The Gentlewoman's Companion; or, a Guide to the Female Sex:
"The right Education of the Female Sex, as it is in a manner every where neglected, so it ought to be generally lamented. Most in this depraved later Age think a Woman learned and wife enough if she can distinguish her Husband’s Bed from another’s. . . .Vain Man is apt to think we were merely intended for the World’s propagation, and to keep its human inhabitants sweet and clean; but, by their leave, had we the same Literature, he would find our brains as fruitful as our bodies."
Aaaand in this corner. . . .
Here's what Mrs. Woolley was up against –– an opinion from her (male) contemporary, the much-respected diarist/horticulturalist John Evelyn (shown right):
"Women were not born to read Authors and censure the learned. . . . All time borrowed from Family duties is misspent. The care of Children’s education, observing a Husband’s commands, assisting the sick, relieving the poore and being serviceable to our friends, are of sufficient weight to employ the most improved capacities among them."