A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Cosimo, Inc., 1 nov. 2008 - 208 pages
One of the earliest works of protofeminist thought, this startling prescient 1792 book is the first published argument advocating for the societal elevation of women as the intellectual and emotional equals of men. Written against the background of the French Revolution--the debate over which caused an uproar in both England and France--and the 1791 statement by French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord to the French National Assembly that women should be educated only in domestic matters, this is a furious reprimand of the prevailing attitudes of late-18th-century Europe that women should be docile, virtuous, and untroubled by any matters beyond the home. Well received in its day and still an important resource for anyone wishing to understand the history of feminism, this extended essay demolishes the sexual double standard of the day, offers a rational defense for the education of girls, and demands merely that women be treated as people. British writer and educator MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT (1759-1797), the mother of Frankenstein author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, espoused her then-radical feminist and liberal philosophies in other such works as Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787) and History and Moral View of the Origins and Progress of the French Revolution (1793).

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Authors Introduction
Dedicatory Letter to M TalleyrandPérigord
The Rights and Involved Duties of Mankind Considered
The Prevailing Opinion of a Sexual Character Discussed
The Same Subject Continued
Observations on the State of Degradation to Which Woman Is Reduced by Various Causes
Animadversions on Some of the Writers Who Have Rendered Women Objects of Pity Bordering on Contempt
The Effect Which an Early Association of Ideas Has Upon the Character
ModestyComprehensively Considered and Not as a Sexual Virtue
Morality Undermined by Sexual Notions of the Importance of a Good Reputation
Of the Pernicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society
Parental Affection
Duty to Parents
On National Education
Some Instances of the Folly Which the Ignorance of Women Generates With Concluding Reflections on the Moral Improvement that a Revolution in...
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À propos de l'auteur (2008)

Mary Wollstonecraft was born in London on April 27, 1759. She opened a school in Newington Green with her sister Eliza and a friend Fanny Blood in 1784. Her experiences lead her to attack traditional teaching methods and suggested new topics of study in Thoughts on the Education of Girls. In 1792, she published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she attacked the educational restrictions that kept women ignorant and dependant on men as well as describing marriage as legal prostitution. In Maria or the Wrongs of Woman, published unfinished in 1798, she asserted that women had strong sexual desires and that it was degrading and immoral to pretend otherwise. In 1793, Wollstonecraft became involved with American writer Gilbert Imlay and had a daughter named Fanny. After this relationship ended, she married William Godwin in March 1797 and had a daughter named Mary in August. Wollstonecraft died from complications following childbirth on September 10, 1797. Her daughter Mary later married Percy Bysshe Shelley and wrote Frankenstein.

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