Astell, Mary (ăsˈtəl) [key], 1666–1731, English author and feminist. Her Serious Proposal to the Ladies (2 parts, 1694–97) offered a scheme for a women's college, an idea far in advance of the time. The project was not realized, and her ideas were ridiculed in the Tatler, possibly by Swift and Addison.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.