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

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 28, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 276 pages
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) published this book, the last before her death in childbirth, in 1796. The twenty-five letters are an account of a daring wartime trip to Scandinavia to attempt to retrieve a stolen ship for her lover, the American adventurer Gilbert Imlay. Her letters describe the people and culture she encountered, as well as the beautiful natural surroundings she observed. But in addition to a travelogue these letters include political reflections on controversial topics such as prison reform, as well as revealing a very personal story of inner turmoil and dislocation. Wollstonecraft's letters were written at a difficult period in her life - she had recently attempted suicide - and their themes and emotional content influenced the Romantic poets of the following generation, even though the book's initial popularity waned after her death. For more information on this author, see http://orlando.cambridge.org/public/svPeople?person_id=wollma
 

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About the author (2010)

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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