Published in 1618, Martin Billingsley’s The Pens Excellencie or the Secretaries Delight, sets out the benefits of writing. He begins by making the case for men to learn to write, and then, remarkably, goes on to say that women should learn to write too. This, he suggests, will enable women to commit things to memory and make them less vulnerable to various deceits, not least the loss of their estate, if widowed.
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Full text available at: http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc/billingsley/