1st Edition

Becoming Wollstonecraft The Interconnection of Her Life and Works

By Brenda Ayres Copyright 2024
    366 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Becoming Wollstonecraft: The Interconnection of Her Life and Works draws from biography to explain her works, and it analyses the works to draw a biographical composite of Wollstonecraft. Becoming Wollstonecraft will be more fully developed than previous works, with added information that has not previously been associated with Wollstonecraft, such as the story of Reverend Mr. Joshua Waterhouse.

    Although there are over fifty book-length biographies published on Wollstonecraft, very few agree on much about Wollstonecraft. She seems to have become an “everywoman,” or a figure unfixed in time and protean. Deemed the Mother of Feminism, like feminism itself, she is what people have wanted her to be and is by no means an immutable or universal personage.

    A study of her life as evident by her works and vice versa, this monograph intends to refocus the image of Wollstonecraft for students and scholars, informed by biographical texts on Wollstonecraft and on those people in Wollstonecraft’s life and acquaintance, historical context, and exposition from her works.



    Part 1:

    Chapter 1: The Oldest Wollstonecraft Daughter: Becoming a Feminist

    Chapter 2: "Misery Haunts this House": Rescuing Bess

    Chapter 3: Wollstonecrafts' Melancholy and Madness

    Chapter 4: Becoming the Educator

    Chapter 5: A Mother of Much, Many, and More or Less

    Part 2:

    Chapter 6: "A Sexless Mind," Overstrained Sensibility, and Sapphism

    Chapter 7: Melting in and out of Love

    Chapter 8: Around Johnson's Table

    Chapter 9: Barrier Love and Gilbert Imlay

    Chapter 10: Wollstonecraft and Lucretia

    Part 3:

    Chapter 11: Utopian Dreamer, Topographical Untruths, and Imlay's Literal Lies

    Chapter 12: Lone Traveler on the High Seas: "Lost in a Sea  of Thoughts"

    Chapter 13: "Barren Blooming" in Britain but Germinating in America

    Chapter 14: "I am Buried Alive": Wollstonecraft's Afterbirth of Rights of Woman in Britain

    Chapter 15: "A Thing of Shreds and Patches": Wollstonecraft's Postmortem


    Dr Brenda Ayres has been teaching British literature for forty years and currently teaches graduate courses online for Liberty University. To date, she has published 75 books, most of them scholarly. The latest are Religion and Wollstonecraft (2024), The Palgrave Handbook of Neo-Victorianism (2024), and The Routledge Handbook of Victorian Scandals in Literature and Culture (2023).