Since the publication of her Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft has been justly hailed as a pioneer of feminist thought in the English-speaking world. Yet Wollstonecraft is a much more fascinating figure, her life far richer, and the impact of that life on her ideas a great deal stronger, than an account of one work alone can convey. This study provides an absorbing introduction to the range and diversity of Wollstonecraft’s writing. What is revealed is a writer who challenged the prejudices of her day, both in her work and in her life. Drawing on recent feminist and literary scholarship, Jane Moore plots the tensions in Wollstonecraft’s argument for female independence, mapping her ambivalence about sexual matters onto her quest for love. The debates that Mary Wollstonecraft aroused have lost none of their power to excite controversy in our time.
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