A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 1792 - Social Science - 201 pages
4 Reviews
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.
 

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User Review  - readingthruthenight - LibraryThing

Okay, okay, admittedly I'm like, what (?) two weeks behind on this post! So much so, I thought about not actually writing it. I mean, aren't ya'll tired of reading about this antiquated text. BUT ... Read full review

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User Review  - Angelic55blonde - LibraryThing

I do not know how anyone can give this book a less than 5 star rating. This is the first feminist monograph and it is eloquant and easy to read. This is a classic, a must read and must own for anyone ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
6
The Rights and Involved Duties of Mankind Considered
11
The Prevailing Opinion of a Sexual Character Discussed
18
The Same Subject Continued
37
Observations on the State of Degradation to Which Woman Is Reduced by Various Causes
52
Animadversions on Some of the Writers Who Have Rendered Women Objects of Pity Bordering on Contempt
79
The Effect Which an Early Association of Ideas Has upon the Character
118
Modesty Comprehensively Considered and Not as a Sexual Virtue
124
Morality Undermined by Sexual Notions of the Importance of a Good Reputation
135
Of the Pemicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society
145
Parental Affection
155
Duty to Parents
158
On National Education
163
Some Instances of the Folly Which the Ignorance of Women Generates with Concluding Reflections on the Moral Improvement That a Revolution in...
185
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Page 2 - ... for truth must be common to all, or it will be inefficacious with respect to its influence on general practice. And how can woman be expected to co-operate, unless she know why she ought to be virtuous? — unless freedom strengthen her reason till she comprehend her duty, and see in what manner it is connected with her real good. If children are to be educated to understand the true principle of patriotism, their mother must be a patriot...

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About the author (1792)

Mary Wollstonecraft was born in London on April 27, 1759. She opened a school in Newington Green with her sister Eliza and a friend Fanny Blood in 1784. Her experiences lead her to attack traditional teaching methods and suggested new topics of study in Thoughts on the Education of Girls. In 1792, she published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she attacked the educational restrictions that kept women ignorant and dependant on men as well as describing marriage as legal prostitution. In Maria or the Wrongs of Woman, published unfinished in 1798, she asserted that women had strong sexual desires and that it was degrading and immoral to pretend otherwise. In 1793, Wollstonecraft became involved with American writer Gilbert Imlay and had a daughter named Fanny. After this relationship ended, she married William Godwin in March 1797 and had a daughter named Mary in August. Wollstonecraft died from complications following childbirth on September 10, 1797. Her daughter Mary later married Percy Bysshe Shelley and wrote Frankenstein.

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