|Catherine Sutherland with the Mary Astell Collection in the Old Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge|
This collection at Magdalene College Cambridge, comprised of 47 books and pamphlets owned and annotated by the philosopher Mary Astell, is a treasure trove of women's intellectual history.
“As a published woman, engaging in polemic, Astell was rare in her time, brave too. Her books reveal a great deal: her reading, her responses, her political and religious commitments, her fluency in French, her grasp of the new philosophy of Descartes, and her engagement with science.” - Mark Goldie, Emeritus Professor of Intellectual History Cambridge
The collection was discovered during a recent provenance survey of Magdalene’s Old Library holdings, amassed by the college since its formation as a Benedictine hostel in 1428.