Judith Drake

Judith Drake was an English intellectual and author who was active in the last decade of the 17th century. Very little is known about her, except that she was probably married to physician, author and newspaper editor James Drake (1667–1707) and was active in a circle of intellectuals that included Mary Astell, Lady Mary Chudleigh, Elizabeth Thomas, Elizabeth Elstob, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and John Norris.[1] Drake is most famous for An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex, a 1696 essay once attributed to Astell, but now widely attributed to Drake, as some editions include a flattering poem to the author by James Drake and a letter by “J. D.” in which the writer alludes to the fact that so many credit him with the work. Judith Drake also contributed to the preface of her husband’s posthumously published book on anatomy, Anthropologia Nova and may have supported herself as a physician for women and children after her husband’s death as well.[2] She had a daughter (born 1700) and a son (born c. 1703), the latter of whom also became a physician.[3]

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References Edit

  1. Sowaal, Alice. “Mary Astell.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2005) 16 December 2006 <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/astell/>.
  2. St Clair and Maassen.
  3. St Clair and Maassen.


Some or all works by this author were published before January 1, 1928, and are in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago. Translations or editions published later may be copyrighted. Posthumous works may be copyrighted based on how long they have been published in certain countries and areas.

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