The works of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) ranged from the early Thoughts on the Education of Daughters to The Female Reader, a selection of texts for girls, and included two novels. But her reputation is founded on A Vindication of the Rights of Woman of 1792. This treatise is the first great document of feminism—and is now accepted as a core text in western tradition.
It is not widely known that the germ of Wollstonecraft's great work came out of an earlier and much shorter vindication—A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), written in the context of the issues raised by the French Revolution. This edition, which follows the model of other Broadview Editions in including a range of materials that help the reader to see the work in the context of its era out of which it emerged, is arranged chronologically, opening with Wollstonecraft's "other vindication." It also includes a wide range of other documents in appendices, as well as a comprehensive and authoritative introduction, chronology, and full index.
"This new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's two vindications contextualizes these crucial works more fully than any other edition thus far. It's exciting to see Wollstonecraft situated within so many debates of the Revolutionary nineties. The introduction is sensible and the editorial principles clearly set down. It's a most welcome addition to the growing body of scholarship establishing Wollstonecraft as a serious political thinker."
The late D.L. Macdonald was Professor of English at the University of Calgary and was also the author of Poor Polidori: A Critical Biography of the Author of The Vampyre. Kathleen Scherf, Associate Dean of Arts at the University of New Brunswick, is also the editor of The Collected Poems of Malcolm Lowry.
1. The Writing of the Vindications
2. A Reading of the Vindications
3. A Note on the Texts
Mary Wollstonecraft: A Brief Chronology
A Vindication of the Rights of Men
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Appendix A: The Revolutionary Moment
1. The Life of Olaudah Equiano
2. Declaration Of The Rights Of Men and Of Citizens
3. Price, A Discourse on the Love of our Country
4. Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
5. Gouges, The Rights of Woman
Appendix B: The Education Debate
1. Talleyrand, Rapport sur l’instruction publique
2. Macaulay, Letters on Education
Appendix C: Hints. [Chiefly designed to have been incorporated in the Second Part of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman.]
Appendix D: Contemporary Reviews
1. A Vindication of the Rights of Men
2. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Works Cited/Recommended Reading