The Bluestockings
Only a few women dared to brake free from the constraints placed upon them by society.

As author Brian Dolan writes in "Ladies of the Grand Tour,"

"A number of 'bluestocking' women, noted for their intellectual accomplushments, let the droning worl of polite drawing-room converstation to exercise their minds, enjoy social independence and cultivate new tastes, and romanices, abroad" (Dolan)


Elizabeth, Lady Holland

Painted on the left is the twenty-two-year-old Elizabeth, Lady Webster, later Lady Holland, married Sir Godfrey Webster in 1786. Lady Webster was unhappy in her marriage and spent most of her time traveling abroad. Whil traveling the continents she took a lover, Thomas Pelham. Later, after divorcing Lord Webster, she married Henry Richard Fox, 3rd Lord Holland. Lord and Lady Holland traveled extensively and participated enthusiastically in political activities.


Hester Thrale Piozzi

This paintings was done in Rome during Piozzi's second continental tour in 1785. Piozzi was a poet whose early poems were published anonymously in the St James Chronicle.After leaving England for Italy with her second husband, Italian musician Gabriel Piozzi, she had published her Observation and Reflections on a Journey Through France, Italy, and Germany.


Ellis Cornelia Knight

This portrait of Mrs. Knight was painted by Angelika Kauffmann, another famous BlueStocking, in 1793. Knight moved to Naples with her widowed mother in 1785 and spent 16 years living there. Knight published her first novel, Dinarbus in 1790. She returned to England after her stint in Naples and became a lady companion to Queen Charlotte. After spending a year in the Queen's service Cornelia resumed her travels and continued to publish.


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Copyright 2002: History 257 - Mount Holyoke College
This page was created by
Lee Haviland.