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A Vindication of the Rights of Womanby Mary Wollstonecraft
Synopses & Reviews
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 the call 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.
Book News Annotation:
Wollstonecraft grew up in the fields of the countryside rather than in middle-class drawing rooms, supported herself through her pen rather than through a husband, and eventually entered into a marriage that provided complete independence for both parties. This, one of her first published works, was no less scandalous than her life, causing comment even amongst the radicals with whom Wollstonecraft associated. Along with the complete 1792 second edition prepared by Wollstonecraft, scholar Brody supplies a biographical sketch, commentary and notes, and a list of further reading.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
First published in 1792, Wollstonecraft's book attacked the prevailing view of docile, decorative femininity and 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.
About the Author
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) wrote on political and social topics, polemics as well as fiction.
Miriam Brody is a professor in the Writing Program at Ithaca College who has written extensively on Mary Wollstonecraft.
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History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General