WOLLSTONECRAFT.

AuthorBrown, Elizabeth Nolan

If you've heard of the 18th century English writer Mary Woll-stonecraft, it's likely because of her 1792 book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a much-cited entry in both the feminist and the classical liberal canons. In Wollstonecraft: Philosophy, Passion, and Politics, the Cambridge historian Sylvana Toma-selli aims to reveal the rest of Wollstonecraft's worldview, demonstrating that she was more than just an early advocate for women's education and women's rights.

Wollstonecraft, Tomaselli shows, had an oeuvre "impressive in its variety, originality, and indeed volume, given her tumultuous existence" and "her life's brevity." (Wollstonecraft died at age 38, shortly after the birth of her daughter, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley.) The book details its namesake's views on such topics as reason, human nature, God, sex, revolution, slavery, her intellectual contemporaries, vanity, theater, inheritance...

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