Mary Wollstonecraft Publishes A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Mary Wollstonecraft publishes A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the first recognized political work advocating equality of the sexes.
Summary of Event
In 1791, the second edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Men appeared—the first edition was published without her name. This book-length response to Edmund Burke’s attack on the French Revolution, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), which focused upon the living conditions of the British lower class, was an immediate success and provided a place for Wollstonecraft amongst the London literati that included such luminaries as publisher Joseph Johnson, the poet William Blake, and Swiss-born painter Henry Fuseli. A year later, in 1792, she highlighted the underprivileged of her own gender in her most popular work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In this radical pioneering work, produced in an amazing six weeks time, Wollstonecraft analyzes the social conditions of the period, painting women as an oppressed class, repudiated of any sort of rights, political and domestic. As a result of this oppression, women, she maintains, have no chance to develop into responsible and reasonable human beings: “Hapless woman! what can be expected from thee when the beings on whom thou art said naturally to depend for reason and support, have all an interest in deceiving thee!” Since they...
(The entire section is 1469 words.)
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