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The Collected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft

by Mary Wollstonecraft Janet Todd

You will smile at an observation that has just occurred to me: -- I consider those minds as the most strong and original, whose imagination acts as the stimulus to their senses, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote in a letter contemplating the role of the imagination in human relationships. Enlightenment feminist and famed author of The Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft was also one of the most distinctive letter writers of the eighteenth century. This volume contains all of her known correspondence. Wollstonecraft talked and thought on paper; her letters were a large part of the drama of her life. In them she grows from an awkward child of fourteen to the woman of thirty-eight facing death in childbirth. Where the letters of "bluestocking" writers such as Elizabeth Carter and Catherine Talbot have a public quality, Wollstonecraft's letters -- whether written in haste or carefully composed, opinionated, or vulnerable -- stand out among those of other contemporary writers for their candor and lack of sentimentality. They create a palpable world, a sense of inner vitality, revealing a woman of consistent character who nonetheless struggled to reconcile disparate aspects of her life: integrity and sexual longing; the needs and duties of a woman; motherhood and intellectual life; fame and domesticity; reason and passion. Written in cramped lodgings and swaying boats, in the wilds of Scandinavia and the chill of Paris in winter, these letters record not a finished, ordered life viewed retrospectively but the dynamic process of living. Collectively, they form a remarkable work of autobiography that reveals the many dimensions of Wollstonecraft's genius.

Letters on Sweden, Norway and Denmark

by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published. The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression. The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark

by Mary Wollstonecraft

"The art of travelling is only a branch of the art of thinking," Mary Wollstonecraft wrote in one of her many reviews of works of travel writing. A Short Residenceis her own travel memoir. In a series of letters addressed to an unnamed lover, the work narrates Wollstonecraft's journey through Scandinavia in 1795, on much of which she was accompanied by her infant daughter. Passionate and personal, A Short Residenceis at once a moving epistolary travel narrative, a politically-motivated ethnographic tract, a work of scenic tourism, and a sentimental journey. It is both as much a work of political thought as Wollstonecraft's better known treatises, and a brilliant, innovative, and influential work in the genre. This Broadview edition provides a helpful introduction and extensive appendices that contextualize this remarkable text in relation to key political and aesthetic debates. It also includes a significant selection from Wollstonecraft's travel reviews.

Love Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft to Gilbert Imlay

by Mary Wollstonecraft

with Illustrated portraits

Maria: or the Wrongs of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published. The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression. The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.

Maria; Or, The Wrongs of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft

In her classic manifesto A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, pioneer feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) embraced an egalitarian social philosophy as the basis for the creation and preservation of equal rights and opportunities for women. In the posthumously published Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman, Wollstonecraft drew upon similar reasoning, presented in a fictional framework to illustrate the grim reality of a woman's life in the eighteenth century. Inspired by the writings of Rousseau and William Godwin, her husband and editor, Wollstonecraft was determined to depict "the misery and oppression, particular to women, that arise out of the partial laws and customs of society. " The tale of a woman locked up in an asylum by her abusive husband, Maria dramatizes the effects of the era's draconian English marriage laws. Combining the spirited rhetoric of a philosophical treatise with a narrative as gripping as any gothic fiction, this is the book that laid the groundwork for modern feminism.

Mary: A Fiction

by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published. The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression. The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.

Posthumous Works: of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published. The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression. The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft

In an era of revolutions demanding greater liberties for mankind, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an ardent feminist who spoke eloquently for countless women of her time.Having witnessed firsthand the devastating results of male improvidence, she assumed an independent role early in life, educating herself and eventually earning a living as a governess, teacher and writer. She was also an esteemed member of the radical intellectual circle that included William Godwin (father of her daughter, novelist Mary Godwin Shelley, and later her husband), Thomas Paine, William Blake, Henry Fuseli and others.First published in 1792, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman created a scandal in its day, largely, perhaps, because of the unconventional lifestyle of its creator. Today, it is considered the first great manifesto of women's rights, arguing passionately for the education of women: "Tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former want only slaves, and the later a plaything."No narrow-minded zealot, Wollstonecraft balanced passionate advocacy with a sympathetic warmth--a characteristic that helped her ideas achieve widespread influence. Anyone interested in the history of the women's rights movement will welcome this inexpensive edition of one of the landmark documents in the struggle for human dignity, freedom and equality.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft

First published in 1792, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was an instant success, turning its thirty-three-year-old author into a minor celebrity. A pioneering work of early feminism that extends to women the Enlightenment principle of "the rights of man," its argument remains as relevant today as it was for Woll-stonecraft's contemporaries. "Mary Wollstonecraft was not the first writer to call for women to receive a real, challenging education," writes Katha Pollitt in the new Introduction. "But she was the first to connect the education of women to the transformation of women's social position, of relations between the sexes, and even of society itself. She was the first to argue that women's intellectual equality would and should have actual consequences. The winds of change sweep through her pages." This classic work of early feminism remains as relevant and passionate today as it was for Wollstonecraft's contemporaries. This edition includes new explanatory notes.From the Trade Paperback edition.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft

In an era of revolutions demanding greater liberties for mankind, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an ardent feminist who spoke eloquently for countless women of her time. Having witnessed firsthand the devastating results of male improvidence, she assumed an independent role early in life, educating herself and eventually earning a living as a governess, teacher and writer. She was also an esteemed member of the radical intellectual circle that included William Godwin (father of her daughter, novelist Mary Godwin Shelley, and later her husband), Thomas Paine, William Blake, Henry Fuseli and others. First published in 1792, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman created a scandal in its day, largely, perhaps, because of the unconventional lifestyle of its creator. Today, it is considered the first great manifesto of women's rights, arguing passionately for the education of women: "Tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former want only slaves, and the later a plaything. " No narrow-minded zealot, Wollstonecraft balanced passionate advocacy with a sympathetic warmth--a characteristic that helped her ideas achieve widespread influence. Anyone interested in the history of the women's rights movement will welcome this inexpensive edition of one of the landmark documents in the struggle for human dignity, freedom and equality.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

by Mary Wollstonecraft Eileen Hunt Botting

Mary Wollstonecraft's visionary treatise, originally published in 1792, was the first book to present women's rights as an issue of universal human rights. Ideal for coursework and classroom study, this comprehensive edition of Wollstonecraft's heartfelt feminist argument includes illuminating essays by leading scholars that highlight the author's significant contributions to modern political philosophy, making a powerful case for her as one of the most substantive political thinkers of the Enlightenment era. No other scholarly work to date has examined as closely both the ideological moorings and the enduring legacy of Wollstonecraft's groundbreaking and courageous discourse.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: Abridged, with Related Texts

by Mary Wollstonecraft Stephen Shapiro Philip Barnard

This edition features a shrewd, annotated abridgment of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) accompanied by an array of texts that help situate the Vindication in its political, historical, and intellectual contexts. Included are key selections from Wollstonecraft's other writings; from closely related works by Burke, Paine, Godwin, Rousseau, Macaulay, Talleyrand, and Brockden Brown; and from the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen and de Gouges' Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Female Citizen (1791).

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects

by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published. The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression. The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects

by Mary Wollstonecraft

Arguably the earliest written work of feminist philosophy, Wollstonecraft produced a female manifesto in the time of the American and French Revolutions. This era induced many to reconsider not only the rights of men, but also of women, and none argued for female emancipation more eloquently or effectively than Wollstonecraft. Her strong use of analogy and philosophical language compared women of her day to both slaves and soldiers: forced to be docile and decorative. Wollstonecraft is passionate and candid as she lays out the principles feminine freedom, stating that education should be equal, there should be an end to the prejudices that proved so restrictive, and that women should be defined, not by their partner, but by their profession. Although received with both approval and anger, "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" was ahead of its time, even modern, in its ideas, and it continues to be a foundational work for those who support women and equal rights.

Vindication of the Rights of Women

by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft's work and personal life reflect these often conflicting tendencies, which culminated in the Romantic Movement of the early nineteenth century.

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