Hester Mulso Chapone was born this day, in 1727, and was contemporary with Scott. Chapone wrote advice books for women, and is best known for her "Letters on the Improvement of the Mind" (1773). Samuel Johnson was familiar with her work, publishing four of her pieces on women in The Rambler.
Chapone was a friend of Elizabeth Montagu, and a bluestocking women herself. The Bluestocking Society in England was formed by Ms. Montagu around 1750, in imitation of a French group of the same name. The appelation "Bluestocking" may refer to worsted stockings that were worn casually in the 18th century, but more likely refers to a blue stocking that fashionable Parisian women wore at that time. In any event the society consisted of women who pursued intellectual ambitions, which went against the grain of English society in the 1700's.