First Edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's Landmark Work

    Mary Wollstonecraft. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects - First Edition. London: for J. Johnson, 1792.

    First edition. Octavo.

    Period-style full brown tooled morocco with gilt spine titles on black leather title plates inside five raised bands. Scattered minor foxing. Some toning to the textblock, else a fine copy in a sturdy binding.

    In Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft "argued for equality of education for both sexes ... and co-education. It was a rational plea for a rational basis to the relation between the sexes... Its chief object was to show that women were not the playthings of men but ought to be their equal partners, which they could be only if they were educated the same way" (Printing and the Mind of Man 242).

    "At no point in [Vindication] is it suggested that women should do anything but struggle against the false psychological categories assigned to them by men. Her critique of woman-as-property anticipates Marx and is still cogent: If a woman knows that she is the legal property of a man, she will even unconsciously regard herself as that - this, perhaps, is what Wollstonecraft meant by advocating that women should be 'taught to think'" (Martin Seymour-Smith, The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written, p. 303).

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    October, 2009
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