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Vindication of the Rights of Woman [Kindle Edition]

Mary Wollstonecraft
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Editorial Reviews


Great Ideas... is the right name for these slim, elegant paperbacks... They are written with precision, force, and care. -- The Wall Street Journal

Penguin Books hopes to provide an economical remedy for time-pressed readers in search of intellectual sustenance. --USA Today

About the Author

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 - 97) was an educationalist and feminist writer. Part of the radical set that included Blake and Fuseli, her relationship with William Godwin and the birth of their child - Mary Shelley - outside of marraige caused great scandal after her death.

Product Details

  • File Size: 364 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 145655364X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TP7JMO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,902 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient November 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
When Charles Maurice de Talleyrand wrote that the education of women should be limited to the home, Mary Wollstonecraft was annoyed enough to respond by directly addressing him in her Preface. She begins politely with "I am confident you will not throw my work aside" and follows with her hope that he will "weigh what I have advanced respecting the rights of women." Wollstonecraft's entire plea for the rights of women is phrased as a plea for the advancement of both men and women. She writes that men cannot see themselves as advanced beings unless they treat women as equals. She notes that in France, women are seen as distinctively lower than they are in England: "In France the very essence of sensuality has been extracted to regale the voluptuary and a kind of sentimental lust has prevailed, which...has given a sinister sort of sagacity to the French character." As a result, modesty "has been more grossly insulted in France than even in England."

Wollstonecraft sees a direct link between manners and morals. When manners are permitted to be corrupted, it follows that "morality becomes an empty name." She insists that not only must men recognize modesty in women but they must also cultivate it within themselves. This inculcation, she writes, is inextricably tied to education for women: "If she be not prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowledge." It is only when the good manners of men lead to a widespread restoration of chaste morals in women that the latter can achieve lasting and true virtue. Part of the problem, she writes, is that men embellish or idolize the male notion of female sexuality to the extant that men feel the need to protect women from their own lascivious nature.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dated, but universal for all women August 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good book to read if you're into feminist studies and want to brush up on your knowledge of feminist history and equality between the sexes.

I don't recommend reading it "all at once". Break it up into pieces and read it pieces at a time so you can absorb the knowledge slowly.

Another book I recommend is Introducing Postfeminism which is my favourite feminist book. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tract on equal public education for both sexes February 2, 2014
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Wollstonecraft basically argues for the enlargement of understanding of women by training them to exercise their reason in order to better fulfill duties unique to their sex. This is to be achieved through public education where girls learn side by side with boys. With women educated, marriage will be one of companionship and friendship and not based solely on lust and the desirability of women based on looks, which must soon fade fast. This book is a good companion text with which to read and understand Jane Austen's novels and Madame Bovary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic May 8, 2013
By mbg
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No surprise this book is part of history. Even now a days I as a woman can relate very much to what the writer is explaining.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Feminism and Explanation after Explanation September 6, 2014
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Dang! The style of writing in this book just about puts me into a daze! It is difficult to follow because of its circuitous logic and explanations of so-called vindication. While Mary Wollstonecraft had some very good points, she could have stated each one much more succinctly without bowing down to the logic given for the opposite viewpoints. While it was interesting, it would not be something to which I would willingly refer a reader.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring. Way ahead of its time. January 31, 2015
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The 17th century English and unconventional sentence construction and writing style can be a bit heavy. However, the fact that Wollstonecraft penned down these ideas at a time when they were still burning women alive for witchcraft in some parts, puts her eons ahead of her time. An inspiring read. I can see why this book has been hailed as the keystone of modern feminism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 9, 2014
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Well written and very logical.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive View on Women's Status January 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was happy to add Wollstonecroft's comprehensive book on the status of women in 19th century England to my new Kindle Library. The forceful articulation on the treatment of women and the need for change is one of the most indepth expressions of the role of women in society and in the home that exist in the English language. Some of her analyses are surprisingly adaptable to current affairs in the United States, particularly as the trend to push women back into the home and preventing them from control over their own bodies takes hold. It is the type of book that you pick up again and again and I thank Kindle for making it available.
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