Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft

The founder of modern feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 1797 was the most famous woman of her era A brilliant, unconventional rebel vilified for her strikingly modern notions of education, family, work, and personal relationships, she nevertheless strongly influenced political philosophy in Europe and a newborn America Now acclaimed biographer Lyndall Gordon mounts aThe founder of modern feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 1797 was the most famous woman of her era A brilliant, unconventional rebel vilified for her strikingly modern notions of education, family, work, and personal relationships, she nevertheless strongly influenced political philosophy in Europe and a newborn America Now acclaimed biographer Lyndall Gordon mounts a spirited defense of this courageous woman whose reputation has suffered over the years by painting a full and vibrant portrait of an extraordinary historical figure who was generations ahead of her time.
Vindication A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft The founder of modern feminism Mary Wollstonecraft was the most famous woman of her era A brilliant unconventional rebel vilified for her strikingly modern notions of education family wo

  • Title: Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Author: Lyndall Gordon
  • ISBN: 9780060957742
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft”

    1. This is a beautifully written, intensively researched biography of an often misunderstood and greatly underappreciated woman. Lyndall Gordon has the enviable position of being a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford, so she has both the time and the access to apparently every extant scrap of her subject's life. Considering the considerable false press that enveloped Mary Wollstonecraft's short but super-eventful life, both the access and the time are crucial to understanding her and how unfortunate i [...]

    2. There's no greater tragedy in the history of mankind than the suppression of womankind. Though there have been exceptions; some queens have ruled, some societies have been matrilineal, but for the most part women have been the captives of men.This is still the case in large parts of the world. The proof of the complete subjugation of a woman is the idea in her head that there really is no role for her except that assigned by men. As this book attests, even in England, a country at the cutting ed [...]

    3. By now I have read several biographies on Mary Wollstonecraft, and none of them have predisposed me to like her. My raging dislike turned to muted pity but not interest. I did not enjoy A Vindication of the Rights of Women my first read through. Proceeding works left me convinced she was a seriously confused woman who fell prey to the emotions she dismissed. Her life was a tragedy, certainly, ironic even. But a vindication for womankind? Not really. I thus approached this particular work with a [...]

    4. For something that I picked up on a whim, this book was surprisingly moving. Gordon is a fierce admirer of Mary Wollstonecraft in a way that I found off-putting in the beginning, when she seems to defensively fixate on proving Wollingscraft's status as a "great". "Rarer creature", she calls her. A "germ of a new genus". "The great are ordinary as well as great" she reminds us at one point. But when she moves on to the meat of the biography, this fierceness turns into a worthy advocacy that seeks [...]

    5. As I expected (having really liked Gordon's bio of Charlotte Brontë), this was excellent. Gordon examines the truths and myths of Wollstonecraft's life in an illuminating way, with generally just the right level of detail. She does spend a little too much time on Gilbert Imlay (Wollstonecraft's lover and father of her daughter Fanny) and his business partners and intrigues, but other than that, I found this a very compelling biography (and now I want to reread Claire Tomalin's, when I have a ch [...]

    6. Overall an interesting read, however there was a TON of information provided about other people and some of it felt like unnecessary filer text.

    7. It is a shame that Mary Shelly, Wollstonecraft's daughter, is the more remembered of the two. Though Mary Shelley did (arguably, according to the deconstruction in Shelly Unbound) contribute significantly to English-language literature, it was her mother whose social progressiveness and teachings made waves still being felt. Mary Wollstonecraft was ahead of her time--even, in some ways, ahead of our time, given that the world still struggles with issues of female equality, the treatment of child [...]

    8. A fairly solid biography of a fascinating figure surrounded by other fascinating people in an amazing era. The strength of the book is it's ability to tie MW's biography to global affairs. I also enjoyed how it's speculations were on what has been overlooked by previous biographies rather than the overdone focus on MW's sex life. This made the chapters dealing with Imlay gripping. My main gripe may actual be considered an asset by other readers: comparisons to Jane Austen's life and works are a [...]

    9. So this was awesome! Not just because most of my context for Wollstonecraft before this book was as Mary Shelley's mother and the author of "A Vindication of the Rights of Women," but because Wollstonecraft was kind of amazing! Despite knowing what I know about the 18th and 19th centuries, I do sometimes forget how much a determined woman can do and the difference between things that are impossible and things that just aren't easy. Gordon is a very sympathetic biographer and sees herself as enga [...]

    10. A truly outstanding biography of Mary Woolstonecraft. I had read a bio years ago. OK, it's been a long time, but I don't remember much from that that is in this one. Her relationship with Gilbert Imlay was fascinating to me. Even brilliant, literate women can sometimes be fooled, but Implay was such a complex person, he probably fooled himself, too. I had no idea (or at least memory) that she had written so much and I'm getting ready to start her "letters" from Norway. That Woolstonecraft sought [...]

    11. A biography of Mary Wollstonecraft, best known for being the mother of Mary Shelley. But she was an early feminist and lived an unconventional life that was misunderstood in her time. Gordon delves into letters and documents to correct the contemporary biography written by Wollstonecraft's husband. Starts kind of slow but gets very interesting. A little slow in the beginning but became very interesting as Wollstonecraft realized her genius and began to live her life in unorthodox ways. A good vi [...]

    12. This more than a biography of Mary Wollstonecraft. At least a third covers the legacy of her influences. I read this as an ebook from the library, which did not have the illustrations that would have increased my interest. Instead, I relied on for pictures as well as context for certain deficiencies in my knowledge of that period of history (such as Enclosure laws, and much more). An impressive amount of research is displayed, but I found the writing to be a bit tedious. And there was much more [...]

    13. Heartbreaking biography. Mary is an incredibly strong, determined and stubborn woman who is breaking social boundaries even after so many hardships in life. Mary advocates for women to be rational, intelligent and equal to men, a revolutionary thought of her time. Her father was awful, her mother mean, her sisters always asking for money, a trip to a mental asylum, unfaithful partners, attempted suicideher life was ROUGH. Mary is an emotional roller coaster, and all I could do was sympathize.Ove [...]

    14. Really disappointing, especially because Wollstonecraft was such an amazing and fascinating figure, and then because I'd heard good things about Lyndall Gordon. But this book has a weak voice, dips too often into academic quarrels, and most importantly lacks a center -- too often I found myself asking why LG was going into such depth on this or that after glossing over items of greater interest. Ah well. Wollstonecraft deserves a better biography.

    15. This is as well-researched and detailed biography as one could wish. Naturally Gordon has used the copious correspondence which survives. But that's where it comes slightly unstuck. We hear Mary only through her writings and letters, and it never sounds like a speaking voice. Somehow I still didn't know this woman. Why did she find such favour with the cultural elites of the time so quickly? This is rather churlish, but the book left me disappointed.

    16. Mary Wollstonecraft was a totally unique woman and this is a good book about her life and the women and men she influenced.

    17. Great biography of Mary Wollstonecraft. One I used for many references in my novel, The Last Daughter of Elizabeth Light.

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