A very famous work, with an interesting role in the development of Victorian literature and the women’s rights movement.
About the book:
James Fordyce, DD (1720–1 October 1796), was a Scottish Presbyterian minister and poet. He is best known for his collection of sermons published in 1766 as Sermons for Young Women, popularly known as Fordyce’s Sermons.
Sermons to Young Women (1766) is a two-volume compendium of sermons compiled by James Fordyce which were originally delivered by himself and others. Fordyce was considered an excellent orator, and his collection of sermons found a ready audience among English clergy and laity alike. It quickly became a staple of many Church and personal libraries.
Fordyce married at the age of 51, about 11 years after publishing his sermons.
In the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Mr Collins, a clergyman, attempts to read the book aloud to the women during a visit to the Bennet household. The youngest of the five Bennet daughters, Lydia, interrupts him “before . . . three pages” leading him to stop reading, with the comment, “how little young ladies are interested by books of a serious stamp, though written solely for their benefit. It amazes me, I confess;—for certainly, there can be nothing so advantageous to them as instruction.”
Additionally in ‘The Rivals’, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, his sermon on Sobriety is mentioned.
– from wikipedia