As a novelist, essayist, dramatist, and poet, Judith Sargent Murray candidly and often humorously asserted her opinions about the social and political conditions of women in late eighteenth-century America. As a committed feminist, she urged American women to enter a "new era in femalehistory," yet published some of her own writings under a man's name in hopes of more widely disseminating her ideas. In addition to her literary endeavors Murray was a prolific letter-writer, and revealed in her correspondence, as elsewhere, her unwavering commitment to human rights. Also duringthis period, Murray produced numerous sketches of celebrated female contemporaries and her major work, The Gleaner. With selections from The Gleaner and Murray's other publications, this latest addition to the Women Writers in English series unearths an important early feminist voice, one that should engage the intellect and imagination of readers both inside and outside the academy.