Maria Or the Wrongs of Woman
Pioneer feminist Mary Wollstonecraft wrote the classic manifesto "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she employed an egalitarian social philosophy as the basis for equal rights for women. In this posthumously published novel, Wollstonecraft drew upon similar reasoning, presented in a fictional setting, to illustrate the grim reality of a woman's life in the eighteenth century. 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. Republication from the classic 1798 edition.