Writing in an age when the call for the rights of man had brought revolution to America and France, Mary Wollstonecraft produced her own declaration of female independence in 1792.
Passionate and forthright, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman attacked the prevailing view of docile, decorative femininity, and instead laid out the principles of emancipation: an equal education for girls and boys, an end to prejudice, and for women to become defined by their profession, not their partner.
Mary Wollstonecraft's work was received with a mixture of admiration and outrage – Walpole called her 'a hyena in petticoats' – yet it established her as the mother of modern feminism.
About The Author
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97) was an educational, political and feminist writer who early in her life worked as a companion, teacher and governess. In 1788 she settled in London as a translator and reader for the publisher Joseph Johnson, becoming part of the radical set that included Paine, Blake, Godwin and the painter Fuseli. Her great work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was published in 1792. She lived in Paris during the French Revolution and had a child by the American Gilbert Imlay, who deserted her. She returned to London in 1795 and, following her attempted suicide, became involved with Godwin, whom she married in 1797, shortly before the birth (which proved fatal) of her daughter, the future Mary Shelley. She left several unfinished works, including Maria.
"We hear [Mary Wollstonecraft's] voice and trace her influence even now among the living."
|Further Reading||p. 71|
|A Note on the Text||p. 75|
|A Vindication of the Rights of Woman|
|Author's Introduction||p. 79|
|The Rights and Involved Duties of Mankind Considered||p. 91|
|The Prevailing Opinion of a Sexual Character Discussed||p. 100|
|The Same Subject Continued||p. 123|
|Observations on the State of Degradation to which Woman is Reduced by Various Causes||p. 141|
|Animadversions on Some of the Writers Who Have Rendered Women Objects of Pity, Bordering on Contempt||p. 173|
|The Effect which an Early Association of Ideas Has upon the Character||p. 219|
|Modesty - Comprehensively Considered, and Not as a Sexual Virtue||p. 227|
|Morality Undermined by Sexual Notions of the Importance of a Good Reputation||p. 240|
|Of the Pernicious Effects which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society||p. 252|
|Parental Affection||p. 264|
|Duty to Parents||p. 267|
|On National Education||p. 273|
|Some Instances of the Folly which the Ignorance of Women Generates, with Concluding Reflections on the Moral Improvement that a Revolution in Female Manners Might Naturally Be Expected to Produce||p. 300|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 19th November 2004
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.26
Edition Number: 1