Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form. It comes with an introduction by Zoe Williams. The term feminism did t yet exist when Mary Wollstonecraft wrote this book, but it was the first great piece of feminist writing. In these pages you will find the essence of her argument - for the education of women and for an increased female contribution to society. Her work made the first ripples of what would later become the tidal wave of the women's rights movement. Rationalist but revolutionary, Wollstonecraft changed the world for women.
Mary Wollstonecraft was born in 1759 in Spitalfields, London. After an unsettled childhood, she opened a school following which, her first work, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, was published in 1787. After a stint as governess in Ireland, she continued to write and published several other works including Mary (1788), A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790) and her most famous, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). That year she travelled to Paris where she met Gilbert Imlay, by whom she had a daughter, Fanny. Her travels around Scandinavia with her baby daughter in 1795, inspired her travel book Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, but on returning to London Imlay's neglect drove her to two suicide attempts. In 1797 she married William Godwin, and had a daughter, the future Mary Shelley. Wollstonecraft died of septicaemia shortly after the birth.