A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

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Mary Wollstonecraft
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First published in 1792, this book was written in a spirit of outrage and enthusiasm. In an age of ferment, following the American and French revolutions, Mary Wollstonecraft took prevailing egalitarian principles and dared to apply them to women. Her book is both a sustained argument for emancipation and an attack on a social and economic system. As Miriam Brody points out in her introduction, subsequent feminists tended to lose sight of her radical objectives. For Mary Wollstonecraft all aspects of women's existence were interrelated, and any effective reform depended on the redistribution of political and economic power.