Contents Index

Lord Chesterfield

Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, 1694-1773, English politician.

Chesterfield's most famous work is his collection of Letters to His Son, advice on the model of female conduct books to his illegitimate son. Johnson, angry at Chesterfield's refusal to patronize his Dictionary, censured the Letters for "teach[ing] the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master," but even he admitted that they "might be made a very pretty book. Take out the immorality, and it should be put into the hands of every young gentleman."

Wollstonecraft paraphrases Chesterfield's letter of 16 November 1752 in A Vindication, Chapter 4, and refers to his "unmanly, immoral system" in Chapter 5.