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Mary Wollstonecraft

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 A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Prometheus's Great Books in Philosophy Series) A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Prometheus's Great Books in Philosophy Series) by Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

A Vindication of the Rights of Women was written during a time of revolutionary fervor, when the principle of inalienable rights for all men had and was causing political turmoil in the United States, France, and Britain. What Mary Wollstonecraft did was relatively simple in premise but complicated in reality: she applied the concept of inalienable rights to women as well as men. Her attack on those who perpetuate a sexual double-standard is direct and pointed: "I must declare what I firmly believe, that all writers who have written on the subject of female education and manners, from Rousseau to Dr. Gregory, have contributed to render women more artificial, weak characters than they would otherwise have been; and consequently, more useless members of society." Mary Wollstonecraft blasts the imbalance of power between the sexes, pointing out that, as with governments, an imbalance of power corrupts both the oppressed and the oppressor. She seeks instead an education for women and men that will lead to individuals with reason, knowledge, and virtue. An eloquent, self-educated, and self-supporting woman, for her efforts in A Vindication of the Rights of Women she was labeled "a hyena in petticoats." Her writing, like most of the prose of her time, tends to be verbose by today's standards, yet her arguments have passion and insight that speak across more than two centuries. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley:  Chronology & Resource Site

Site created and maintained by Shanon Lawson. 

The main purpose of this site is to provide information on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, especially material that might not be readily available or accessible in every library. Currently we offer a chronology of Mary Shelley's life and work and several contemporary reviews of her novels, as well as reviews of the plays inspired by Frankenstein.

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Mary Wollstonecraft

From Garth Kemerling. 

A self-taught native of London, Mary Wollstonecraft worked as a governess, school teacher, and headmistress before becoming convinced that the young women she tried to teach had already been effectively enslaved by their social training in subordination to men. In Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787) Wollstonecraft proposed the deliberate extrapolation of Enlightenment ideals to include education for women, whose rational natures are no less capable of intellectual achievement than are those of men... 


Wollstonecraft Timeline

From Great Voyages.


Mary Wollstonecraft:  Biography

From History Guide:  Lectures on Modern European Intellectual History. 

Mary Wollstonecraft was a radical in the sense that she desired to bridge the gap between mankind's present circumstances and ultimate perfection. She was truly a child of the French Revolution and saw a new age of reason and benevolence close at hand. Mary undertook the task of helping women to achieve a better life, not only for themselves and for their children, but also for their husbands. Of course, it took more than a century before society began to put her views into effect. 


Wollstonecraft Listserve

Listname: wollstonecraft_mary
Moderator: Kent Palmer
Website: DialogNet
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Texts online

Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman (at wiretap)
Maria or the Wrongs of Woman (at English Server)
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (searchable html at Great Voyages)
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (at wiretap)
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (txt at


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