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ASTELL, MARY (1668-1731), English author, was born at
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She was instructed by her uncle, a
clergyman, in Latin and French, logic, mathematics and
natural philosophy. In her twentieth year she went to London,
where she continued her studies. She published, in 1697, a work
entitled A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, wherein a Method is
offered for the Improvement of their Minds. With the same end
in view she elaborated a scheme for a ladies’ college, which
was favourably entertained by Queen Anne, and would have
been carried out had not Bishop Burnet interfered. The most
important of her other works was The Christian Religion, as professed
by a Daughter of the Church of England, published in 1705.
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