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Updated 11-09-05

Anna Maria van Schurman/ Schurmann /Schuurman (1607-1678)


For much of her life, Anna Maria van Schurman was considered a prodigy. The only daughter of a Dutch father and a mother from the lesser German nobility, she was given a humanist education, studying with her two older brothers. When she was 13, the poet Anna Roemers Visscher praised her knowledge of Greek and Latin; when she was 18, another poet, Jacob Cats, predicted that she would be "an adornment to our century." Schurman's own interest lay chiefly in the visual arts, but it was her facility with languages that was considered remarkable.

At 19, Schurman moved with her mother from the university city of Franeker to Utrecht (her father had died three year earlier). There she continued her art---painting, etching---and used her languages to study both classical and biblical works. By the time she was 25, she was corresponding with scholars at the University of Leiden; her contact with one of these would lead to her first major written work.

When she was 29, Utrecht's first university was established, and Schurman was invited to write a ode celebrating the inauguration. Once classes had begun, she was permitted "to follow theology lectures... from a recess, closed off by a curtain." The publication of her poem and the knowledge of her attendance at classes brought her further public notice, but the death of her mother the following year brought greater domestic obligations as well, including the care of two aunts in ill health.

For a while Schurman was able to juggle her conflicting responsibilities: by 1639 she had apparently completed Dissertatio, de ingenii mulieribus ad doctrinam, et meliores litteras aptitudine, on the aptitude of the female mind for science and letters. In the same year she wrote a treatise, De vitae humanae termino, on the respective roles of God and the physician at the end of human life.

Throughout the 1640s, Schurman, "the star of Utrecht," was one of the sights that visiting scholars and aristocrats had to see as they passed through the city. In 1648 the 41-year-old Schurman compiled all of her published work and a selection of her correspondence and poetry into the first edition of Opuscula hebraea, graeca, latina, gallica, prosaica et metrica (Little works in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, & French, prose & poetry). Because the care of her aunts---both now blind---was taking up an increasing part of her time, she appears to have considered this the end of her writing career; she used what little time she had to herself for her art. This pattern continued through the 1650s.

Schurman and the Dutch scholars whom she knew were all members of the Reformed Church; still, some felt further reform was needed, and the subject was much discussed in Schurman's circle. In 1661, after Schurman's aunts had died, her surviving brother went abroad to study theology; in Geneva he met Jean Labadie, a French Reformed preacher whom he praised in letters to his sister. When her brother died, Schurman continued to correspond with Labadie, urging him to accept an offer he had received to be a pastor in Zeeland. Labadie came in 1666, and over the next three years Schurman saw him often and came to agree with his views of what a church should be.

In 1669, Schurman left Utrecht to live with Labadie and his followers. Her former mentors at Utrecht and Leiden wrote that the 52-year-old woman had gone mad or had fallen under the hypnotic influence of an evil Frenchman. What shocked them most was that her new way of life meant abandoning the secular learning that she had earlier championed. The goal of Labadie's group was to re-create the communal life of the first Christians at Jerusalem; therefore, they would study only the scriptures, not the classical authors.

Opposition from the established churches forced Labadie's group to move, to Germany (where they were sheltered by Elisabeth of the Palatine), then to Denmark, and finally to Friesland. Schurman continued to write: theological tracts to be printed on the Labadists' own press; letters to those who shared some of her beliefs. She also continued her art work, scandalizing some of her stricter companions. Because of her fame, Schurman was always an important member of Labadie's group; she could make and maintain contacts with the German nobility and the Danish king. After Labadie's death in 1674, although Schurman herself was ill, she became part of the decision-making leadership.

In 1673 Schurman had published Eukleria, seu melioris partis electio (The good choice; or choosing the better part), a justification of her 1669 decision and a theological explanation of Labadist belief. In the year of her death, she added to it a second part, published posthumously as Eukleria,... pars secunda, which described the growth of the movement and the joy she had found in the companions of her New Jerusalem.

On this page you'll find:

Links to helpful sites online.

Excerpts from translations in print.

Information about secondary sources.



1. In English:

(a) Fourteen arguments from Dissertatio (although without the supporting evidence given in the text), translated by Joyce L. Irwin (1989). (In fact, Schurman gave 15 arguments; for the missing one, see the passage from the1659 English translation, The Learned Maid or Whether a Maid May Be A Scholar, that is given below, under "In print.")
(b) A biography of Schurman which quotes from a 1635 letter to the theologian Andre Rivet, describing a visit to Rene Descartes; at the upper left of the page, you may link to the Latin manuscript of the letter.
(c) In this 1756 letter from the Methodist leader John Wesley, use your browser's search function to go to "Schurman" for an excerpt from the posthumously published second part of Eukleria, in which Schurman gives her theology of salvation (her book was one of those that Wesley carried with him on his preaching journeys).
(d) A brief quotation from Schurman and some verses attributed to her.

2. In the original languages:

(a) At a German site, links to the individual pages of the third "amended and enlarged" 1652 edition of Opuscula hebraea, graeca, latina, gallica, prosaica et metrica, published at Utrecht; it includes, in their original languages, the treatise De vitae humanae termino, the Dissertatio, 67 letters written by Schurman (and a few written to her), 25 of her poems, and 14 eulogies written by others. The illustration is one of Schurman's self-portraits (the link to "Frontispiz" will take you to an enlargement). And at another site, the title page of the second edition (1650), published at Leiden.
(b) From Opuscula (but perhaps easier of access): in the top half of the page, links to 17 letters (brieven) to women and to 7 poems (gedichten) that illustrate Schurman's position as a woman; these are followed by Dutch translations and commentaries. See also a brief 2004 English-language summary of the site's contents and purpose by Pieta van Beek. (For information on a 2004 essay on Schurman by Van Beek, see below, under "Secondary sources.")
(c) Also from Opuscula, three poems, two in Latin and one in French (and one addressed to her). The first is the 1636 poem celebrating the opening of the University of Utrecht; you can see part of that poem in translation below, under "In print."

3. Portraits (etc.) by Schurman:

(a) Halfway down the page, an etching from 1633. The Latin legend at the bottom of the self-portrait translates: "No pride or beauty prompted me to engrave my features in the unforgiving copper; but because, if my unpractised graver was not yet capable of producing good work, I would not risk a more weighty task the first time."
(b) A miniature in oils from c.1633, usually titled "Portrait of a veiled woman" (rather than "Self-portrait as Modesty," the title given here).
(c) Two drypoint etchings. That on the left is known to be from 1640; the Latin legend translates: "See my likeness depicted in this portrait. May your favor perfect the work where art has failed."
(d) A drawing of a young medical student, done c.1664.
(e) Not a portrait, but a page of calligraphy on which Schurman demonstrated her ability to write in Middle Eastern languages: Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Persian, Syrian.

4. Portraits of Schurman by others:

(a) By Jan Lievens, 1649.
(b) By Arnoud van Halen, done c.1710, but believed to be based on a drawing made when Schurman was alive.
(c) A miniature in pastel, done after a self-portrait.
(d) Ten portraits, some contemporary. At least one is a self-portrait; some of the others are based on her known self-portraits.

5. Schurman's visitors:

(a) To illustrate Schurman's position as one of the "divers Persons of Note" of Utrecht, go to "Skurman" (the author's spelling) for a London physician's disappointment at missing her on a 1668 trip; he is forced to content himself with her inscribed self-portrait.
(b) Nine years later, the Quaker leader William Penn would be more successful; see his report of his visit to Leeuwarden a year before Schurman's death, when "she saw her learning to be vanity."

6. David Norbrook's essay, "Women, the Republic of Letters, and the Public Sphere in the Mid-seventeenth Century" (2004), compares Schurman and the British writer Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623 -1673). Norbrook discusses how each writer responded to the political and religious situations with which they were faced.

7. Lecture notes by Karen J. Warren, which, after a brief biography, gives the views of recent writers on Schurman.

8. The publisher's description of Joyce L. Irwin's 1998 translation, Whether a Christian Woman Should be Educated, and Other Writings; for excerpts, see below, under "In print."


In print

[Joyce L. Irwin has translated Schurman's Dissertatio and the five letters between Schurman and Andre Rivet which discuss the topic; as well as 11 letters from Opuscula (written to women between 1639 and 1646), and the first two chapters of Eukleria. Irwin also gives a section of a work by a scholar at the university in Utrecht, which shows the basis of Schurman's beliefs. Irwin's introduction and notes are useful for background; the bibliography includes the few English-language studies:]

Schurman, Anna Maria van. Whether a Christian woman should be educated and other writings from her intellectual circle; edited and translated by Joyce L. Irwin (The other voice in early modern Europe). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c1998. (xxvi, 148 p).
LC#: BT704 .S3813 1998:  ISBN: 0226849988, 0226849996
Includes translated selections from the writings of Gijsbert Voet (1589-1676). Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-144) and index.

"I shall resort to this unique support of friendship."

[In 1632 the 24-year-old Schurman wrote to a 60-year-old theologian at the University of Leiden, Andre Rivet, whom she had never met. At least a year earlier, she had written a work (now lost) for young women "in which I try to persuade them... of the best way to make use of our leisure"; now she asked Rivet to be the work's"guide and protector." The letter's opening:]

Whenever I think to myself, venerable Sir, how much your kindness has obliged me to you and with what honor you have expressed your opinion of me to others, I confess nothing is more pleasing and no greater fortune has ever befallen me than from so slight cultivation to obtain such abundant fruits.... And since in this age the stars are especially inconstant and fleeting, I shall resort to this unique support of friendship.

Nor am I so ignorant of this world as not to believe that there exists some ill-willed person who would declare that I have been led to this point in the vainglorious hope of displaying my mental ability. But God is my witness how far removed from this kind of ambition is my purpose in the kind of life I have undertaken.       [p.39]

"I do not see why the most beautiful adornment... is not fitting."

[In his response, Rivet cautioned that the kind of study Schurman does is only for a few "rare" women. It appears that this comment gave Schurman the impetus to develop the argument that would become her Dissertatio.... After five years of thinking about it she offers her answer in a letter to Rivet that is not as tightly argued as the published text would be, but that presents her feelings more strongly:]

...[Y]ou write thus: "Nor may it perhaps be expedient for many to choose this kind of life; it may suffice is some, called to it by a special instinct, sometimes stand out." If married women involved in household affairs or any others who by necessity look after the interests of family matters are understood here, I assent immediately; but if we mean girls endowed with mental ability who are to be educated more liberally---such as our age produces in large numbers---I will accede less easily.

An enormous admiration of sciences or the justice of common law moves me not to set down as rare in our sex that which is most worthy of the desires of all. For since wisdom is so much an ornament of the human races that it ought by right to be extended to one and all (as far as, in fact, one's fortune allows), I do not see why the most beautiful adornment of all by far is not fitting for a maiden, in whom we allow diligence in tending and adorning herself.          [p.42]

"By what law, I ask, have these things become our lot?"

[Schurman believed in her argument, but she also enjoyed using the arts of rhetoric. After citing classical authorities who argue for the education of men:]

But they are apt to argue that pulling the needle and distaff is an ample enough school for women. I confess many have been thus persuaded, and those of today who are maliciously inclined agree with them in many cases.

But we who seek the voice of reason, not of received custom, do not accept this rule of Lesbos. By what law, I ask, have these things become our lot? Divine or human? They will never demonstrate that these limits by which we are forced into an order are ordained by fate or prescribed from heaven.         [pp.43-44]

"It reveals to our minds a genuine likeness of itself."

[After arguing for the value of studying the natural sciences and history, Schurman turned to the knowledge of languages, whose effects she compares to the visual arts:]

For languages are faithful caretakers, nay rather interpreters, of those things that a wise antiquity leaves to us. When antiquity speaks to us in its own idiom, it reveals to our minds a genuine likeness of itself and touches our senses with a certain marvelous grace and charm that with good reason we find missing in all translations, however good they may be.       [p.47]

" who are a sublime herald of the virtues."

[Rivet's response was harsh, accusing Schurman of believing that women's minds "equaling and perhaps surpassing the minds of men," and reminding her of Paul's words that "woman is the weaker vessel." Schurman ignored the second statement and dealt with only the latter part of the first. In this way she was able---with more than a little flattery---to assure the elderly and powerful Rivet that they were in perfect agreement:]

...I suffered no small pain in seeing that either because of the obscurity of my defective writing style or because of my lack of skill in distinguishing, I have managed to impress on your mind a meaning far different from my intention, as if, that is to say, I so thoughtlessly favor that invidious and groundless assertion of the preeminence of our sex compared with yours that I would blithely raise it with you....

...[I]f the virtues of our order (i.e., maidens) ought to be preached rightly, I very much desire that that role be handed over to you who are a sublime herald of the virtues.          [pp.54-55]

"...a proper and universal good."

[Perhaps in part because of this earlier exchange with Rivet, when she came to publish Dissertatio... Schurman was careful to spell out both the limitations and the inclusions of her argument:]

...[T]he goal of studies is presumed not to be vainglory and show or idle curiosity but rather the general goal of the glory of God and the salvation of one's soul....       

...[T]he whole circle of liberal arts... is entirely fitting to a Christian woman (just as it is a proper and universal good or adornment of humanity)....       [p.26]

Finally, we do not especially urge those studies that pertain to the practice of trial law and the military or to the arts of speaking in church, court, and school, as they are less fitting and necessary. Nevertheless, we do not by any means concede that women should be excluded from scholastic or, so to say, theoretical knowledge of these things, least of all from knowledge of the most noble discipline of politics.

Let us define the phrase "fitting or expedient" not as whether the study of letters is... precisely necessary to eternal salvation, nor indeed as a good that makes for the essence itself of happiness in this life, but as an occupation or means that can contribute to our integrity in this same life and, to a degree, through the contemplation of very beautiful things, move us that much more easily to love of God and to eternal salvation.       [pp.26-27]

"We are Christians or at least humans."

[After defending the arguments in favor of the proposition (you can see the bare bones of the arguments online), Schurman proceeded to "refutation of the adversaries." The adversaries' thesis repeats Andre Rivet's point: "For a Christian woman the study of letters is not fitting unless she be divinely inspired to this by a certain special motion or instinct." Among Schurman's responses:]

...[W]e say a heroic mental ability is not always precisely necessary for studies, since we see a number of learned men gathered indiscriminately from among the average.

...[N]o one can properly judge of our inclination to studies before he has prodded us to undertake studies by the best reasons and means and has also given a certain taste of their sweetness....            [pp.34-35]

[Against those who say women need no higher education for their vocation:]

[I]f they understand here the vocation of private life, as opposed to public duties, we say that for the same reason men in private life would be denied the curriculum of the liberal arts or a higher degree of knowledge....

If they mean a special vocation that serves either family or household matters, we say that the universal knowledge that pertains to all, and by which we are Christians or at least humans, is by no means thereby to be excluded.       [p.36]

"For a quick introduction...."

[The only letters we have by Schurman before the late 1660s are those she selected to be published in the 1648 Opuscula...; they reveal the roles in which she wished to present herself. To the exiled 23-year-old Princess Elisabeth of the Palatine, who had apparently asked for a reading list, she is a gentle guide, approaching the study of history by recommending biography:]

For a quick introduction, I find nothing as suitable as Plutarch, who presents to us illustrious men as in a perfect tableau while drawing a serious and very beautiful comparison between the Greeks and the Romans....

If we want to consider the value we derive from this [biography] and to examine it in detail, we would find that it is almost limitless, especially in the livelier way the examples strike the senses and the imagination than do the precepts of philosophy....           [pp.57-58]

"In such a union of minds and studies...."

[To Dorothy Moor of Dublin, a widow who also studied languages, Schurman is a fellow scholar---and perhaps a bit lonely:]

...[I]f we were at some time permitted by the grace of God to enjoy one and the same companionship, I do not doubt that in such a union of minds and studies we could better encourage one another to virtue....

[And at the end of the letter (the "image" was perhaps the 1640 etching online):]

I have added also my my image depicted true to life with my own hand, by which I may become known to you in all ways, insofar as it is possible.       [pp.61-62]

"...a more cheerful humor and more extravagant than usual."

[And to a French friend, Mlle. du Moulin, who had lived for a while in Holland but had now returned to France to care for her seriously ill but now recovering father, Schurman shows a lighter side:]

...[T]he gaiety of your heart awakening and breaking out after a great eclipse can only produce in us pleasant and refreshing thoughts, such that if you find me at present in a more cheerful humor and more extravagant than usual, know that it is you who have put me there....

[Mlle. du Moulin had said that she was forgetting her Flemish; in response:]

As for me, I see well that my French is already about to embark and seek elsewhere better provisions than I know how to give it. And if you do not wish for me hereafter to write long letters in Flemish or for us to need an intermediary in order to understand each other, you must soon plan for your return.       [p.69]

"...turn the weapons of harmful men against them."

[Opuscula also contains a brief poem addressed to Marie de Gournay, whose 1622 Egalite des hommes et des femmes had been an inspiration to Schurman. You can see the Latin original in the online Opuscula, at "S.302f":]

You bear the arms of Pallas, bold heroine in battles....
Thus it is fitting for you to make a defense for the innocent sex
and to turn the weapons of harmful men against them.
Lead on, glory of Gournay, we shall follow your standard,
for in you our cause advances, which is mightier than strength.         [p.13]

"...the reasons for the remarkable change of my station in life."

[Twenty-five years after Opuscula..., Schurman wrote a much different work. In the 1673 Eukleria... she set out to explain to her old friends and mentors why she had left her old life to make a new one:]

By this work I also hope once and for all to explain briefly and candidly to all who love truth and justice the reasons for the remarkable change of my station in life.        [p.73]

"I am also supported by the company of many faithful."

[Schurman assures the reader that her decision was a rational one:]

Since now for some years I have looked with sorrowful eyes eyes at the almost total deflection and defection of Christianity from its origin....

And when the wonderful providence and goodness of God, so worthy of devotion, showed me the correct and direct path to the true practice of the original life of the gospel through the singular Mr. Jean de la Badie... and his partners in grace..., how could anyone justly reproach me for following them as the best teachers and leaders? Or that I am also supported by the company of many faithful who all with the same mind and zeal look to Jesus....       [p.76]

"...not justified... except perhaps with the consent of all my friends."

[In the past, Schurman had sought approval from her mentors; in this decision she didn't:]

Nevertheless, since there are learned and eminent men who consider my old state of life to have been so excellent and admirable that I was not justified to have exchanged it for another except perhaps with the consent of all my friends or even to the applause of the whole literary world (inasmuch as to it I owe the little fame I enjoy), I think I should give here... my reasons, along with supporting arguments.          [p.76]

"This was not taken... to be the primary reason for praising me."

[In speaking of the first part of her life, Schurman wonders why she had always been praised for intellectual rather than spiritual achievements:]

...[E]ven though I always conferred first place to piety (as to the highest virtue)..., nevertheless this was not taken by anyone to be the primary reason for praising me. Either it was not sufficiently recognized and admired by others as the supreme virtue, or I did not show it forth purely and firmly enough in my life, or perhaps they judged nothing worthy of observing and celebrating except what was rare in our sex and valued for that reason.       [p.80]

"...sought, even if I did not find, some pleasure and repose."

[After describing her artistic work and the celebrity she gained from her learning---all of which she now sees as corrupted by her own vanity---Schurman sums up:]

First, as fame itself showed the way and guided me (for it seemed I ought to keep that which was said favorably about me from being a lie), I turned my mind and efforts to too many different and idle---indeed worthless---matters.

Second, that in respect neither to time nor to knowledge itself did I maintain a proper proportion; I did not always give first place to the things that could glorify God, edify my neighbor, and make my soul more pleasing to God.

Third, following mostly human instinct, which drew me more to human than to divine matters, I clung with too much affection to various sciences and arts and in them sought, even if I did not find, some pleasure and repose.       [pp.89-90]


[Irwin's contribution to this anthology includes translations of some passages from the later books of  Eukleria and parts of three letters not given in her 1998 translation (above):]

Women writers of the seventeenth century / edited by Katharina M. Wilson and Frank J. Warnke. Athens: University of Georgia Press, [c1989]. (xxiii, 545 p.)
LC#: PN471 .W57 1989;   ISBN: 0820311111, 082031112X
Includes bibliographies and index.

" I had all my life placed much weight on bourgeois proprieties."

[The later sections of Eukleria describe Schurman's new life with a new community. In 1669 Schurman and another woman had gone from Utrecht to Amsterdam to join Labadie's group. Because they could find no room nearby, they considered moving into a part of his house occupied by several women:]

Here it was necessary to make the best decision, not consulting either flesh and blood or human prudence. On the one hand we saw this as the best opportunity for our own edification; on the other hand we saw easily, if we were to move into Mr. Labadie's house, what fury this would arouse in evil-minded people....

Nor were we unaware how strong was the power and tyranny of custom, from which we would seem to be departing; for there is hardly a person who is not subordinate to it and obedient to its laws as to a dictator, an emperor, or a divinity....

I do not deny that I had all my life placed much weight on bourgeois proprieties, customary manners, and a good name, as true virtues; but in this case I paid no attention to them; I considered them transient in comparison with heavenly matters or as a heavenly gift and entrusted good which I could give back to God....             [pp.180-81]

"...binds our congregation into one heart and mind."

[In 1673 a prominent German pietist, Johann Jacob Schutz read Eukleria and initiated a correspondence with Schurman which lasted until her death. In a 1677 letter to him, after explaining Labadist beliefs and the community life:]

Therefore, do not believe, dear brother, that among us thrives human and worldly erudition or the artifices of scholars or the concatenation of dogmas, or that our minds and hearts are entangled, bound up by the logical and rhetorical arts in systems of digests, or separated from others.

It is indeed another kind of tie or chain which binds our congregation into one heart and mind, another principle which separates us from ourselves, from the world and the worldly....         [p.182]


[Volume 3 of this anthology includes six poems and one letter by Schurman, in the original Latin and in a translation by Pieta van Beek. Van Beek's introductory essay discusses the style as well as the content of each of the works given, all but one originally published in Opuscula:]

Women writing Latin: from Roman antiquity to early modern Europe / edited by Laurie J. Churchill, Phyllis R. Brown, and Jane E. Jeffrey (Women writers of the world). New York: Routledge, 2002. (3 v.)
LC#: PA8030.W65 W66 2002;   ISBN: 0815332599, 0415942470
Includes bibliographical references. Contents: v. 1. Women writing in Latin in Roman antiquity, late antiquity, and early modern Christian era -- v. 2. Medieval women writing Latin -- v. 3. Early modern women writing Latin

"For everyone this sacred spot is sown and measured."

[From the 30-line poem on the founding of the University of Utrecht in 1636. Schurman praises the city and the city leaders, but then calls attention to what disturbs her heart in the midst of the celebration. Pallas Athene /Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, Themis of justice:]

You who rightfully rule the city and its fields
And its high fortifications, and raise your steeples to the stars,
Your highest goal is to enlighten the intellect with the weapons
Of Pallas Athene to banish the ignorant barbarians....

You, too, Utrecht, will draw forth peaceful riches, the gifts of the intellect,
Through the eloquent mouths of Minerva's initiates.
But what cares disturb your heart (perhaps you ask)?
Well, these holy precincts are inaccessible to Minerva's virgin chorus!
For everyone this sacred spot is sown and measured, so that the friendly
And nurturing Themis can shut out discordant Chaos from the peaceful world,
So that divine Science can shine forth through proper practice
And that an altar can burn for God on high.
That is the goal, here I conclude....            [lines 1-5, 17-25; pp.286-87]

"Love for another kind of art holds me."

[Apparently another woman with the same last name had translated a French romance into Dutch, and the translation attributed to Schurman. Here, in a 12-line poem dedicated to Andre Rivet, she disclaims the attribution; her loyalty is not to the goddess of love:]

I am not jealous of the writer, let her bear her own rewards
Of her pleasing work; love for another kind of art holds me.
It helps me to have pointed this out; lest Venus say in public
I have sent forth my poems unconquered by her authority....        [lines 6-10; p.288]

"She who bore him, giving him new life."

[A 12-line epigram, published in a 1658 translation of Seneca's philosophical works into Danish by the writer Birgitta Thott. Although most of Schurman's writing was in the classical languages, she saw the value of giving "new life" to the ancient writers by translating their work into the vernacular:]

A noble woman recently dared to waken from the dead Seneca's great shadow
And to stir the ashes of so weighty an authority.
She gives him back new life beneath the northern stars,
And with a new mouth enables the learned to speak....

Does she too not belong on the top of Parnassus,
She who bore him, giving him new life without death?       [lines 1-4, 11-12; p.291]


[Therese Boos Dykeman's collection includes a 1659 English translation of Dissertatio, called The Learned Maid or Whether a Maid May Be A Scholar?: A Logic Exercise, with spelling and capitalization modernized. Dykeman's introduction briefly discusses Schurman's English contemporaries:]

The neglected canon: nine women philosophers, first to the twentieth century / edited by Therese Boos Dykeman. Dordrecht: Boston: Kluwer Academic, c1999. (xvi, 366 p.)
LC#:B105.W6 N44 1999;  ISBN: 0792359569
Includes bibliographical references and index

"...more decent to find themselves... at home and in private."

[The argument from Dissertatio that is omitted online. Parentheses indicate Dykeman's clarification:]

The study of letters is convenient (suitable) to them, for whom it is more decent to find themselves both business and recreation at home and in private, than abroad among others.       [p.129]


[The Learned Maid can also be found in this anthology, along with a letter of Schurman's which was included with the 1659 translation. Also given are excerpts from Chapter 2 of Eukleria, translated by Cornelia Moore:]

Women writing in Dutch / edited by Kristiaan Aercke (Women writers of the world: vol. 1; Garland reference library of the humanities: vol. 1439). New York: Garland Pub, 1994. (xiii, 713 p.)
LC#PT5411 .W66 1994;   ISBN: 0815302312
Includes bibliographical references (p.713)


Secondary sources

[Lynne Richard had translated a Dutch collection of seven essays on Schurman. All of the essays are of interest, especially in summarizing Dutch research not available in English. For the general reader, two essays may be of most value: Mirjam de Baar's & Brita Rang's "Anna Maria van Schurman:A historical survey of her reception since the seventeenth century"; and De Baar's "'Now as for the faint rumours of fame attached to my name...': The Eukleria as autobiography." In another essay, eleven of Schurman's art works are illustrated and discussed. The book contains a useful chronology of Schurman's life and an index of names (with dates given for Schurman's contemporaries):]

Choosing the better part: Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678) / edited by Mirjam de Baar...[et al.]; [translated from the Dutch by Lynne Richards] (International archives of the history of ideas; 146). Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, c1995. (xi, 181 p.: ill.)
LC#: PT5679.S48 Z5413 1995;   ISBN: 0792337999
Includes bibliographical references (p. 155-171) and index

[One essay in this collection, Pieta van Beek's "'Ardens Martyrii Desiderium': On the Martyrdom of Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678)," sees Schurman's abandonment of her secular studies and her participation in Jean Labadie's group as the fulfillment of a lifelong "burning desire for martyrdom." In her discussion, Van Beek provides her own translations of passages from Schurman's writing:]

The Low Countries as a crossroads of religious beliefs / edited by Arie-Jan Gelderblom, Jan L. de Jong, Marc van Vaeck (Intersections; v. 3). Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004. (viii, 331 p.)
LC#: BR395 .L69 2004;   ISBN: 9004122885
Includes bibliographical references and index

[In another collection, Jeannette Bloem's essay,"The Shaping of a 'Beautiful' Soul: The Critical Life of Anna Maria van Schurman," offers a different view of the later years: Bloem finds in Eukleria an intellectual and independent theological vision of a personal ethic:]

Feminism and the final Foucault / edited by Dianna Taylor and Karen Vintges.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, c2004. (vi, 307 p.)
LC#:  HQ1190 .F4176 2004;   ISBN: 0252029275, 0252071824
Includes bibliographical references and index

[This 1909 biography of Schurman by Una Birch (pseudonym of Constance Pope-Hennessy) gives no source notes and few specific dates. However, Birch translates poems and letters (by Schurman and others), and passages from Eukleria... not otherwise available in English. The book has a useful index:]

Pope-Hennessy, Constance. Anna van Schurman, artist, scholar, saint; by Una Birch. With portraits. London, New York, Longmans, Green and co., 1909. (xi, 204 p. 6 port. (incl. front.)
LC#: CT1158.S3 P6
"List of Anna van Schurman's works": p. 195. Bibliography: p. 196-198

[The focus of Trevor J. Saxby's book is on Labadie, but its second half is useful on Schurman's later years. Saxby quotes from letters to and from Schurman and gives passages from Eukleria... that are not translated elsewhere:]

Saxby, Trevor J. The quest for the new Jerusalem, Jean de Labadie and the Labadists, 1610-1744 (Archives internationales d'histoire des idées; 115). Dordrecht; Boston: M. Nijhoff Publishers; Hingham, MA, USA: Distributors for the U.S. and Canada, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1987. (xiii, 490 p.: ill.)
LC#: BX7990.L2 S28 1987;   ISBN: 9024734851
Bibliography: p. 437-475 Includes indexes


Updated 11-09-05

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