The French Revolution stirred a bitter debate in Britain about the nature of civil society and the political nation. This is an original and lively study of contemporary women writers' efforts to base a reformed state and national culture on virtues and domains traditionally conceded towomen. The pre-Revolutionary call for the feminization of culture acquired new and controversial meaning during the Revolution debate with the claims of Mary Wollstonecraft and others for intellectual, vocational, sexual, and even political equality with men. But women writers of the period were facedwith a literary discourse that assigned learned, sublime, and controversial genres and public and political themes to men. Women writers therefore undertook bold literary experiments which were derided and suppressed in their time, and which are still misunderstood. Gary Kelly investigates thishitherto neglected achievement by combining a wide survey of women's writing in its historical context with detailed analyses of three leading women writers: Helen Maria Williams, Britain's most widely-read eyewitness to the Revolution; the determined feminist and self-styled `female philosopher'Mary Hays; and Elizabeth Hamilton, relentless `feminizer' of supposedly `masculine' discourse, from satire to social reform, classics to theology. This is a wide-ranging and lucid contribution to current debates concerning the intersections between women's writing, revolution, and Romanticism.