This article focuses on Ann Murry's serial essay “The Moral Zoologist, or Natural History of Animals,” which appeared in the Lady's Magazine in sixty‐seven letters between 1800 and 1805. I argue that Murry's “The Moral Zoologist” contested the bounds of women's scientific knowledge in the eighteenth century. Although some scholarship has argued that women's magazines usually did not provide a coherent curriculum for female readers and confined their female readership to the merely entertaining or domestic, Murry used “The Moral Zoologist” to present readers with a systematic view of animal life, as well as moral reflections on the relationship between humans and animals. In particular, “The Moral Zoologist” includes pointed critiques of the use of animal fur and feathers for clothing and therefore provides a contrasting perspective for readers to consider when they peruse the fashion pieces that also populated the pages of the Lady's Magazine. Murry's work, therefore, shows that eighteenth‐century periodicals for women were complex spaces in which different ideas about the relationship between women, science, animals, and ethics could coexist.
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Research Article| September 01 2023
Lina Jiang; Contesting Women's Learning and Fashion: Ann Murry's Moral Zoological System in the Lady's Magazine. Eighteenth-Century Life 1 September 2023; 47 (3): 63–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00982601-10690093
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