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A Vindication of the Rights of Women: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects.
London: for J. Johnson, 1792 - Octavo (204 × 119 mm). Contemporary speckled calf neatly rebacked, two-line blind tooled border on sides. Leather book label of W. A. Foyle, Beeleigh Abbey, on front pastedown.Without the half-title; joints rubbed and partially split but sound, a little wear to corners, paper flaw to Q6 neatly repaired (just touching catchword), scattered light spotting. First edition of the first great feminist treatise. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) argued in her ground-breaking manifesto that the rights of man and of woman were one and the same thing. Her demand for "justice for one-half of the human race" was too revolutionary for her time, but she found a following among radicals and educated women, and succeeded in initiating a new regard for women as an important social force. Wollstonecraft preached that intellect will always govern, and she sought "to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonimous [sic] with epithets of weakness." A second edition was published the same year, but a planned second volume was never written, not least because Wollstonecraft's confidence had been severely shaken by her tumultuous affair with Gilbert Imlay. Five years later she met and married William Godwin and died giving birth to their daughter Mary, future author of Frankenstein. Goldsmiths' 15366; Printing and the Mind of Man 242; Windle, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, A5d.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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