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Life in the 18th Century was a time of great change. It is often referred to as the Age of Enlightenment. Throughout Europe, more people were learning to read, and becoming interested in reason and science. By the end of the 18th century Science and Artistic academies had become well established all over Europe. But life for many was extremely hard. Women had little rights. Indeed, a judge in England stated that it was “perfectly legal for a man to beat his wife, as long as he used a stick no thicker than his thumb” Women were regarded as the weaker sex, emotionally and intellectually. Their job was to nurture their men and children, to be gentle and kind. In this short book best selling author Sylvia Perrini looks at several profiles of women in this era who shocked the societies in which they lived.