The essays in this collection represent the explosion of scholarly interest since the 1960s in the pioneering feminist, philosopher, novelist, and political theorist, Mary Wollstonecraft. This interdisciplinary selection, which is organized by theme and genre, demonstrates Wollstonecraft's importance in contemporary social, political and sexual theory and in Romantic studies. The book examines the reception of Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman but it also deals with the full range of her work from travel writing, education, religion and conduct literature to her novels, letters and literary reviews. As well as reproducing the most important modern Wollstonecraft scholarship the collection tracks the development of the author's reputation from the nineteenth century. The essays reprinted here (from early appreciations by George Eliot, Emma Goldman and Virginia Woolf to the work of twenty-first century scholars) include many of the most influential accounts of Wollstonecraft's remarkable contribution to the development of modern political and social thought. The book is essential reading for students of Wollstonecraft and late eighteenth-century women's writing, history, and politics.
’This volume is not only the most comprehensive collection of Wollstonecraft scholarship to have appeared to date. One of its primary strengths lies in its reflection of Wollstonecraft's diversity as a writer. As Jane Moore observes in her impressive introduction, taken together, Rights of Men and the more famous Rights of Woman have widened Wollstonecraft's appeal beyond any single academic discipline or school of thought, and this is borne out in the range of critical material on offer here. Important though her Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) is, it illustrates but one facet of Wollstonecraft's political philosophy and social concerns.’ TLS
Contents: Introduction; Part I Survey of the Work and Reputation: Margaret Fuller and Mary Wollstonecraft, George Eliot; Mary Wollstonecraft, her tragic life and her passionate struggle for freedom, Emma Goldman; Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf; On the reception of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Regina M. Janes; Mary Wollstonecraft: texts and contexts, Gary Kelly; Remembering Mary Wollstonecraft on the bicentenary of the publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Sylvana Tomaselli. Part II Contexts: History, Politics, Culture: Wollstonecraft and Social, Philosophical and Political Theory: Mary Wollstonecraft: 18th-century commonwealthwoman, G.J. Barker-Benfield; Wollstonecraft, feminism, and democracy: 'being Bastilled', Virginia Sapiro; Mary Wollstonecraft and the 'reserve of reason', Simon Swift; Wollstonecraft, Gender and Enlightenment: Mary Wollstonecraft and Enlightenment desire, Janet Todd; The Enlightenment debate on women, Sylvana Tomaselli; Wollstonecraft Education and Conduct Literature: Her demands for the education of woman, Emma Rauschenbush-Clough; Mary, Mary, quite contrary, or, Mary Astell and Mary Wollstonecraft compared, Regina M. Janes; Advice and enlightenment: Mary Wollstonecraft and sex education, Vivien Jones; Wollstonecraft and the French Revolution: Gender in revolution: Edmund Burke and Mary Wollstonecraft, Tom Furniss; 'The grand causes which combine to carry mankind forward': Wollstonecraft, history and revolution, Jane Rendall; Wollstonecraft and Religion: Sibylline apocalyptics: Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Job's mother's womb, Mary Wilson Carpenter; For the love of God: religion and the erotic imagination in Wollstonecraft's feminism, Barbara Taylor; Wollstonecraft and Romanticism: Godwin's Memoirs of Wollstonecraft: the shaping of self and subject, Mitzi Myers; Death in the face of nature: self, society and body in Wollstonecraft's Letters Written in Sweden, N