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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary…

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

by Mary Wollstonecraft (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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I read this during my last quarter as an undergraduate English major. The class was on revolutionary women writers and it was AWESOME. I was more interested and involved in that class than most of my other classes--I kept up a double-entry journal for all of the reading so that I was constantly analyzing and writing down my thoughts. I had a great relationship with the professor and other girls in my class. It was during this class that the big protest in Seattle was going on, and we were all motivated to take a bus up there together because of the women about whom we were reading. This class motivated me to be an activist.

As for this particular book, it was great in the beginning. Wollstonecraft is difficult, dense reading. She had some great ideas that spurred deep intellectual discussion, but after a while you want to stop reading. She makes her point early on and the rest is too much. Also, it's hard to be motivated to trudge through it when her dream is somewhat old news to us now. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 14, 2015 |
I think everyone should read this book. Everyone. Sometimes I reread it just to remind myself how fiercely this battle was being fought in the eighteenth century, and how hard we still have to fight. A little righteous fury goes a long way. ( )
  rrainer | Sep 20, 2013 |
Apart from Class ridden snobbery condemming working classes to manual work and paying attention to current social mores, Wollestonecraft makes a reasoned case for women to shove off the fripperies of womanhood and get into some solid educational DIY.
Her thesis is a woman is a better wife etc if she is educated rather than an uneducated bimbo who is more concerned with the latest fashion than by the state of her brain. I think this holds true.
Well worth reading, well written and an easy read in comparison to other philosophy texts. ( )
  wonderperson | Mar 30, 2013 |
Upon my third dedicated attempt to read The Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft, I loved it! I was in the right mood to read it, and I gave myself a fixed block of time to get started in it.

Wollstonecraft’s prose is rather dense, and she is arguing against Rousseau’s comments and philosophies, which were unfamiliar to me. She seems to me to repeat herself. And yet, much of what Wollstonecraft argued resonated with me. I also loved her bits of sarcasm. Except, given her era, I’m certain she did not intend it to be funny. She’s completely serious.

More thoughts on my blog
One read of this long essay is certainly not enough. I’ll have to read it again in the future to expand on other insights, especially given that my own notes of this read were lost.
1 vote rebeccareid | Oct 14, 2011 |
This is a valuable tool for understanding late 18th century thought, and how a real live woman ahead of her time framed her opinions on the rights and education of women long before modern feminism. ( )
2 vote Unreachableshelf | Sep 6, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wollstonecraft, MaryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brody, MiriamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowbotham, SheilaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the present state of society it appears necessary to go back to first principles in search of the most simple truths, and to dispute with some prevailing prejudice every inch of ground.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141441259, Paperback)

Writing in an age when the call for the rights of man had brought revolution to America and France, Mary Wollstonecraft produced her own declaration of female independence in 1792. Passionate and forthright, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman attacked the prevailing view of docile, decorative femininity and instead laid out the principles of emancipation: an equal education for girls and boys, an end to prejudice, and the call for women to become defined by their profession, not their partner. Mary Wollstonecraft?s work was received with a mixture of admiration and outrage?Walpole called her ?a hyena in petticoats??yet it established her as the mother of modern feminism.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:49 -0400)

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"In an age of ferment, following the American and French revolutions, Mary Wollstonecraft took prevailing egalitarian principles and dared to apply them to women. Her book is both a sustained argument for emancipation and an attack on a social and an economic system. As Miriam Brody points out in her introduction, subsequent feminists tended to lose sight of her radical objectives. For Mary Wollstonecraft all aspects of women's existence were interrelated, and any effective reform depended on the redistribution of political and economic power. Walpole once called her 'a hyena in petticoats', but it is a tribute to her forceful insight that modern feminists are finally returning to the arguments so passionately expressed in this remarkable book."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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