Mary Wollstonecraft, often described as the first major feminist, is remembered principally as the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), and there has been a tendency to view her most famous work in isolation. Yet Wollstonecraft's pronouncements about women grew out of her reflections about men, and her views on the female sex constituted an integral part of a wider moral and political critique of her times which she first fully formulated in A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790).
Written as a reply to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), this is an important text in its own right as well as a necessary tool for understanding Wollstonecraft's later work. This edition brings the two texts together and also includes Hints, the notes which Wollstonecraft made towards a second, never completed, volume of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
At the end of the 18th century, The French Revolution sparked lively political debate in England, and one way that British critics and intellectuals engaged in this discourse was by publishing pamphlets that expressed their views. A Vindication of the Rights of Men is Mary Wollstonecraft’s formidable response to Edmund Burke’s writing against the French of Revolution. And A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was a retort to contemporaries' arguments that educating women was unnecessary.
British actress Jessica Martin performs these pamphlets with conviction and a spot of controlled vitriol, pressing Wollstonecraft’s points home. Wollstonecraft is now viewed as an early feminist and Rights of Woman one of the first - and most enduring - public declarations of the movement’s concerns.
"… a thoughtful, wide-ranging and important examination of Wollstonecraft's thought … Wollstonecraft is skilfully considered in terms of radical Enlightenment thought, and the links between this and feminism are probed in a treatment that is alive to the diversity of this radicalism." (Times Higher Education Supplement)
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“I declare against all power built on prejudices."