At a very young age, Catharine's father, who was a sea captain, died at
sea and took the family fortune down with him. However, Catharine
was able to help the family out with financial situations by writing five
plays which were published by the age of seventeen. At the age of
twenty, she peaked her interest of philosophical issues of her time by
writing a defense of John Locke.
In 1708, she married a clergyman and took some time off from her writings
to raise a large family. She got back into the swing of things by
acting as a mentor to her niece and once again, she took on the challenge
of writing philosophical controversies.
After her death, a family friend, Thomas Birch published a collection of
her various works, including an extensive bibliography. He made sure
to note the extreme circumstances under which she was able to continue
writing her whole life long.
Vindication of an Essay Concerning Human Understanding was
published anonymously due to the sexist attitude during her time.
This piece supported John Locke's Essay, and it showed that
it established security in morality. When Locke found out that it
was Catharine who wrote the piece, he thanked her with books and money.
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