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Biographers of Catharine Macaulay (1731–91), much like her contemporaries, often agreed that the woman’s reputation was shaped by the peculiar company she kept: prominent, intellectual, political, radical, revolutionary, and occasion- ally “foolish.”3 This essay examines why it matters what company a writer keeps, especially when that writer is a woman and her reputation is tied to the status of her letters and her correspondents.


This article was originally published in The Eighteenth Century, available at DOI 10.1353/ecy.2015.0016



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