Mary Wollstonecraft by Janet Todd
A Revolutionary Life

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Synopsis

With Mary Wollstonecraft and her A Vindication of the Rights of Women, published in 1792, a modern female consciousness came clearly into being, one that tied the mind to the body. This beautifully written biography, the first new study of Mary Wollstonecraft in thirty years, argues that it is her life and letters that are her most lasting legacy.

Her story reads like a novel -- extraordinarily scandalous in conventional terms (a close involvement with a woman, two male lovers, an illegitimate child, and a habit of initiating amorous relationships), yet in her own terms always principled and highly moral. She strove to reconcile integrity and sexual desire, the duties and needs of a woman, motherhood and intellectual life, domesticity and fame.

 

About Janet Todd

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Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by Columbia University Press. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mary Wollstonecraft

The Guardian

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Writing got her out of her depressions, but it did more - in her work she made a real contribution, and changed the intellectual tenor of her times and the times to come by demanding that people should recognise the untenable oppression of women.

Feb 05 2005 | Read Full Review of Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolu...

The Guardian

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The Collected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft edited by Janet Todd 478pp, Allen Lane, £30 Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination by Barbara Taylor 331pp, Cambridge, £16.95 The last letter in Janet Todd's splendid edition of the letters of Mary Wollstonecraft is a brief no...

Oct 04 2003 | Read Full Review of Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolu...

The Guardian

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Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life Janet Todd Weidenfeld, £25, 510pp Buy it at BOL When, in October 1790, Edmund Burke published his Reflections on the Revolution in France, a great sigh of wonder went up from the rich and powerful in Britain as they flocked to read such an eloquent...

Jul 22 2000 | Read Full Review of Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolu...

Publishers Weekly

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Mary Wollstonecraft may be called ""the mother of feminism,"" but motherhood in all its various aspects represented little but trouble to her.

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London Review of Books

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London Review of Books

When I set about organising a modest plaque on the site of the house in which Mary Wollstonecraft died in Somers Town, there was talk of naming flats or even a street after her: but again, those three syllables defeated too many people.

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London Review of Books

She, her sisters and her mother were all expert and competitive hypochondriacs, producing not just headaches, side aches, languor, trembling, spasms, sore eyes and disturbances of vision, but also hysterical deafness (Eliza in her postpartum depression), loss of hair (Eliza again, when unhappily ...

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Project MUSE

Todd provides intriguing glimpses of the radical intellectual circles that Wollstonecraft entered through her acquaintance with the Unitarian minister Dr. Richard Price and the publisher Joseph Johnson, of Wollstonecraft's life in Paris during the Terror, of her travels in Scandinavia on business...

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