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derisive term originally applied to certain 18th-century women with pronounced literary interests. During the 1750s, Elizabeth Vesey held evening parties, at which the entertainment consisted of conversation on literary subjects. Eminent men of the day were invited to contribute to these conversations. Hannah MoreMore, Hannah,
1745–1833, English author and social reformer. She was educated, and later taught, at her sisters' school for girls in Bristol. At the age of 22 she became engaged to William Turner, a wealthy squire 20 years older than she; he never married her, but settled
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, Elizabeth MontaguMontagu, Elizabeth (Robinson),
1720–1800, English author, one of the bluestockings. She was noted for her wit and beauty, and her London literary salon was frequented by Johnson, Walpole, Burke, and other eminent men.
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, and Elizabeth CarterCarter, Elizabeth,
1717–1806, English poet and translator. Under the pen name Eliza she contributed for years to the Gentleman's Magazine. One of the group of 18th-century women known as the bluestockings, she was a friend of Johnson, Burke, Reynolds, and Horace
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, among others, continued this tradition. Boswell, in his Life of Dr. Johnson, states that these "bluestocking clubs" were so named because of Benjamin Stillingfleet, who attended in unconventional blue worsted stockings rather than the customary black silk stockings. In time the name bluestocking was applied solely to women of pedantic literary tastes.
References in periodicals archive ?
Blue jeans more so than blue stockings are in evidence virtually any night of the week at Bluestockings, a lesbian cafe-activist center on New York's Lower East Side.
In the Tara Palmer-Tompkinson role could be any number of trainers' wives, sporting Chanel jackets and thick blue stockings amid a welter of spangly boob tubes and white stilettos.
She often hosted blue-stockings parties, so called because of Mr Benjamin Stillingfoot who was a regular member, an excellent conversationalist and who always wore blue stockings.
It was his way of trying to upset us, especially when he offered us a set of blue stockings.