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Madeleine Armstrong

Madeleine Armstrong

Cambridge International Scholar

PhD Candidate in Intellectual History, Trinity College


I study the concept of youth in British political thought at the end of the eighteenth century. There have been many cultural histories of childhood in this period, but little attention has been paid by intellectual historians to the evolving ideas of childhood. My focus will be on Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Catharine Macaulay. Youth was a prominent rhetorical and conceptual tool in their writings on the French Revolution and the British Empire. Understanding their preoccupation with youth, and how this  influenced their debates on revolution and empire, is essential to our understanding of political thought in the period. My goal is also to clarify the changing nature and status of childhood in the eighteenth century, and the emergence of the rights of the child. 


  • European History