The works of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) ranged from the early Thoughts on the Education of Daughters to The Female Reader, a selection of texts for girls, and included two novels. But her reputation is founded on A Vindication of the Rights of Woman of 1792. This treatise is the first great document of feminism—and is now accepted as a core text in western tradition.
It is not widely known that the germ of Wollstonecraft’s great work came out of an earlier and much shorter vindication—A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), written in the context of the issues raised by the French Revolution. This edition, which follows the model of other Broadview Editions in including a range of materials that help the reader to see the work in the context of its era out of which it emerged, is arranged chronologically, opening with Wollstonecraft’s “other vindication.” It also includes a wide range of other documents in appendices, as well as a comprehensive and authoritative introduction, chronology, and full index.
“This new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s two vindications contextualizes these crucial works more fully than any other edition thus far. It’s exciting to see Wollstonecraft situated within so many debates of the Revolutionary nineties. The introduction is sensible and the editorial principles clearly set down. It’s a most welcome addition to the growing body of scholarship establishing Wollstonecraft as a serious political thinker.” — Mitzi Myers, University of California, Los Angeles