Sermons to Young Women

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Sermons to Young Women (1766), often called Fordyce's Sermons, is a two-volume compendium of sermons compiled by James Fordyce,[1] a Scottish clergyman, which were originally delivered by himself and others.[2] 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."[3]

Additionally in 'The Rivals', by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, his sermon on Sobriety is mentioned.


  1. ^ "Sermons to Young Women: in Two Volumes". WorldCat. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  2. ^ "Fordyce, James" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  3. ^ "Chapter 14" . Pride and Prejudice – via Wikisource.

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