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Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft (Paperback)

Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft By Lyndall Gordon Cover Image
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“Wonderful, and deeply sobering. . . . Lyndall Gordon relates Wollstonecraft’s story with the same potent mixture of passion and reason her subject personified.”—New York Times Book Review

The founder of modern feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was the most famous woman in Europe and America in her time. Yet her reputation over the years has suffered—until now. Acclaimed biographer Lyndall Gordon mounts a spirited defense of this brilliant, unconventional woman who held strikingly modern notions of education, single motherhood, family responsibilities, working life, domestic affections, friendships, and sexual relationships.

Offering a new interpretation for the 21st century, Gordon paints a vibrant, full portrait of Wollstonecraft, revealing how this remarkable woman’s genius reverberated through the generations, influencing not only her daughter, Mary Shelley, and other heirs, but early political philosophy in England and America as well—including the ideas of John and Abigail Adams.

About the Author

Lyndall Gordon lives in Oxford, England. She is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Brontë, T. S. Eliot, and Henry James. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Senior Research Fellow at St. Hilda's College, Oxford.

Praise For…

“Gordon relates Wollstonecraft’s story with the same potent mixture of passion and reason her subject personified...Wonderful, and deeply sobering.” — New York Times Book Review

“Fierce and wonderful. . . . [Wollstonecraft is] a dazzling character on the brilliant page.” — John Leonard, Harper's Magazine

“Rich with new interpretations, sources, and detail . . . Captures the drama of Wollstonecraft’s life.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Imaginative and intelligent, consistently absorbing... [Gordon] speculates and probes with a freewheeling intelligence that responds to Wollstonecraft’s own.” — New York Review of Books

“Judicious, sympathetic, intelligent and utterly riveting . . . Gordon rescues Wollstonecraft from both reactionary disdain and soft-focus feminist sentiment.” — The Independent

“[A] distinguished biographer...Gordon offers fresh detail and insight...[Her] biography is eminently readable and rewarding.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Gordon vindicates this once-vilified ‘hyena in petticoats’ as a melancholy, complex, heroic feminist, stunningly ahead of her time.” — Bust Magazine

“[Wollstonecraft’s] aspirations to greatness...keep breaking through Ms. Gordon’s wonderfully wrought book like flashes of lightning.” — New York Sun

“Exceptional, emotionally overwhelming . . . A 360-degree exploration of Wollstonecraft in her era—and beyond.” — Newsday

“A sobering and inspirational read for women today. Readers who delve into it will meet a brave, visionary woman.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060957742
ISBN-10: 0060957743
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2006
Pages: 592
Language: English