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productions. No work extant is similar to mine ; for this reason, I am sure it will be welcomed. The world wants it.
“There are so many women of richly cultivated minds,” says a British critic, “who have distinguished themselves in letters or in society, and made it highly feminine to be intelligent, as well as good, and to have elevated as well as amiable feelings, that by-and-by the whole sex must adopt a new standard of education."* Now, my work is prepared to be both an aid and incentive to such progress. In
. order for this, three things are indispensable: to understand what God intended woman should do; what she has done; and what farther advantages are needed to fit her to perform well her part.
** The General Preface" is designed to answer the first query; also the “Remarks” at the beginning of each Era, and hints scattered through the book, will, I trust, be of service in the elucidation.
To show what she has done, I have gathered from the records of the world the names and histories of all distinguished women, so that an exact estimate of the capabilities of the sex might be formed by noting what individuals have accom. plished through obstacles and discouragements of every kind. .
The third proposition, growing naturally out of the two preceding, is answered by considering their import.
If God designed woman as the preserver of infancy, the teacher of childhood, the inspirer or helper of man's moral nature in its efforts to reach after spiritual things; if examples of women are to be found in every age and nation, who, without any special preparation, have won their way to eminence in all pursuits tending to advance moral goodness and religious faith, then the policy, as well as justice of providing liberally for female education, must be apparent to Christian men. "The excellent woman is she who, if her husband dies, can be a father to their children,” says Goëthe. If read aright, this would give the female sex every required advantage.
Like all moral and social changes, the one now going on in the public mind concerning woman has its absurdities and its errors. When mists are rising, they often take fantastic shapes and reveal ugly features in the landscape ; but truth, like the sun, will at last make all clear and beautiful of its kind.
It has been my earnest endeavour to throw this true light over the important themes discussed.
The Bible is the only guarantee of woman's rights, and the only expositor of her duties. Under its teachings, men learn to honour her. Wherever its doctrines are
* See article on Mrs. Hemans, in Blackwood's Magazine, 1849.
observed, her influence gains in power. All human good is founded in goodness. If the Gospel is the supreme good revealed to the world, and if this Gospel harmonizes best with the feminine nature, and is best exemplified in its purity by the feminine life, giving to the mother's instinctive love a scope, a hope, a support which no religion of human device ever conferred or conceived, then surely God has, in applying this Gospel so directly to her nature, offices, and condition, a great work for the sex to do. “Christ was made of a woman;" woman must train her children for Christ. Is this an inferior office ?
Wherever the Bible is read, female talents are cultivated and esteemed. In this “ Record” are about two thousand five hundred names, including those of the Female Missionaries : out of this number less than two hundred are from heathen nations, yet these constitute at this moment nearly three-fourths of the inhabitants of the globe, and for the first four thousand years, with the single exception of the Jewish people, were the world.
Is not this conclusive evidence that God's Word is woman's shield, Ilis power her protection, and His gifts her sanction for their full development, cultivation, and exercise ?
In preparing “Woman's Record ” I have been aided by several friends in Europe, who have procured for me books and portraits not to be found in our country. Mrs. Mary IIowitt has been very kind in her assistance, and I am happy to thank her thus publicly. Professor Charles E. Blumenthal rendered acceptable service by furnishing translations of a number of the Sketches of distinguished women of Germany. My American friends have also been ready to assist: W. Gilmore Simms, Esq. wrote the Sketch of Miss Lee, and the Rev. Dr. Stevens and Rev. Dr. Kip furnished each a Sketch. Those to whom I have applied for information, have, in almost every instance, given all in their power, and cheered me kindly with their encouragement. I hope they will find the finished work worthy of approval.
The volume is larger than was at first contemplated, but materials increased, new ideas were to be set forth and clearly illustrated; I have not exhausted the theme.
One object is, however, accomplished: the picture of Woman's Life, as it has been developed to the world from the Creation to the present date, is here truly and completely displayed.
I am far from considering this outward semblance her best or loveliest praise. Millions of the sex whose names were never known beyond the circles of their own home influences, have been as worthy of commendation as those here commemorated. Stars are never seen either through the dense cloud or bright sunshine ; but when daylight is withdrawn from a clear sky they tremble forth: so female
Genius is made visible only where God's Word has cleared from the mental horizon the gross clouds of heathen error, while His Providence has withdrawn from the individual woman that support and protection from man which is her sunshine over the rough ways of the world. Hitherto she has usually won fame through suffering: let those who envy the bright ones remember this.
But, as the stars of heaven guide the mariner safely over the night-enveloped waters, so these stars of humanity are required to show the true progress of moral virtue through the waves of temptation and sin that roll over the earth. The greater the number, and the more light they diffuse, the greater will be the safety of society.
When men fully comprehend this, they will bless female genius, and fashion their own literature to a higher standard of moral taste and a nobler view of human destiny. Says the gifted author of Pendennis, “Women are pure, but not men. Women are unselfish, but not men."
In truth, the moral sense of men, though as yet imperfect, has rarely erred so widely as to show, in works of imagination even, any ideal of masculine nature so perfect in moral virtues as the feminine. In the conflicts of contending duties, in the trials of love and temptations of passion, the masters of dramatic art, great poets and novelists, never fall into the sin against nature of making their men better than their women.
The ideal of the angelic in humanity is, in Christian literature, always feminine. When this instinctive perception of woman's mission becomes an acknowledged and sustained mode of moral progress, it will be easy for the sex to make advances in every branch of literature and science connected with human improvement; and the horizon will be studded with stars.
Now, some readers may think I have found too many celebrities; others will search for omissions. There was never a perfect work, so mine must bear the general lot of criticism. All I ask is, that the contents be well understood before judgment is rendered.
PHILADELPHIA, July 4th, 1851.
LIST OF PORTRAITS.
The larger portion of our Portraits have been obtained directly from Europe for this work ;
Rome, Florence, Paris and London, contributing to form our Gallery. The originals were executed by the most celebrated artists. We have not room for particulars respecting these gems of art, excepting a few of the most rare. Portraits of the living American ladies are chiefly from pictures or Daguerreotypes, taken expressly for this “Record.”
Page 1. AGRIPPINA, JULIA, DAUGHTER OF GERMANICUS............
21 2. ANDROMACHE, copied and enlarged from a picture on an ancient gem, representing Andromache, her husband Hector, and her son Astyanax
24 3. ASPASIA...........
26 4. CARMENTA
29 5. CLEOPATRA, copied from an ancient Egyptian coin
31 6. OLYMPIAS, MOTHER OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT, enlarged from an ancient gem ......... 50 7. PORTIA
52 8. SAPPHO
56 9. SEMIRAMIS, copied from an ancient gem...
58 10. TAMYRIS, copied and enlarged from an ancient gem
60 SECOND ERA. 11. AGNES SOREL
68 12. ANNE BOLEYN
72 13. ARC, JOAN OF..
76 14. BEATRICE PORTINARI.
82 15. BLANCHE OF CASTILE.
84 16. BORGIA, LUCREZIA......
86 17. BRUNORO, BONA LOMBARDI
88 18. CATHARINE SFORZA......
91 19. CATILARINE, ST.
92 20. COLONNA, VITTORIA.
93 21. CORVANO, CATERINA
94 22. D'ANDOLO, OR BRANCALEONE GALEANA
95 23. ERMENGARDE............
99 24. FAUSTINA, ANNIA GALERIA
102 25. GAMBARA VERONICA
105 26. GOZZADINI, BETISIA
107 27. HELENA, MOTHER OF CONSTANTINE, copied from a picture upon a Greek manuscript, written in the Ninth Century.
108 28. HELOISE.........
109 29. ISABELLA OF ARRAGON..
113 30. ISABELLA OF CASTILE..
114 31. ISAURE, CLEMENCE.
115 32. JOANNA, COUNTESS OF HAINAULT AND FLANDERS.
117 33. JOANNA OF NAPLES..
118 34. JOANNA II. OF NAPLES
119 35. JCLIA DOMNA, copied from a bust in the collection of Montfaucon
119 36. LACRA, MADONNA
121 37. LEIVA, MARIA VIRGINIA
121 38. LOUISA OF SAVOY...
122 39. MARGARET, COUNTESS OF TYROL....
125 40. MARGARET OF DENMARK....
126 41. MARGARETTA OF SAXONY
128 42. MATILDA, COUNTESS OF TUSCANY
132 +3. MATTUGLIANA, MEA
132 41. NOGAROLA, ISOTTA.
45. PACHECO, DONNA MARIA..