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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

Mary Wollstonecraft
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Nov 1996 Dover Thrift Editions
Considered a heroine of feminism, Wollstonecraft argues that women, rather than cultivating power from sexual allure, should be honest, intelligent, and independent. Her views about how women's innate worth is denigrated by improper definitions of the feminine in novels, advice literature, and in educational systems has inspired women for over two centuries.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (22 Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486290360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486290362
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 264,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"She is alive and active--we hear her voice and trace her influence even now." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

In this passionate reaction to Rousseau's pedagogical work Emile (1762) Wollstonecraft powerfully defends woman's ability to reason, given appropriate education. Her radical prescription was for girls to be educated alongside boys and to the same standard. Originally published in 1792, this is a foundational work of feminist political thought. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Relevant Today 22 Mar 2002
This might be a frightening generalisation, but the majority of people reading this book are probably doing so in the confines of a formal education course. If you're a woman and the following statement is true Mary Wollstonecraft would be delighted. This book is a complex philosophical argument for the emancipation and education of women. The language of the book, as with most late eighteenth century text is wordy and therefore it's going to be slow read, to understand and evaluate Wollstonecraft's arguments. However, the arguments she makes are skilful and still with relevance today.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! 14 May 1999
By A Customer
For anyone into philosophy, this is a definate read. A product of the Age of Reason, Mary Wollstonecraft applies reason to why women should be educated equally with men so both may benefit from virtue. Very intriguing even for a man. Read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pioneering Work 5 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mary Wollstoncraft is pretty well spot on with her observations of men and women as they were in Regency times. If she were to come back today she would be amazed at the progress that has been made in women's rights, yet in some ways things have not changed. Men have not changed. Mary Wollstoncraft was wrong in thinking that men could be changed. There is still the glass ceiling. There are still women who actually want to be dependent on men and seem to enjoy pleasing men, and that was certainly the lot for most women right up to the Second World War.

Her ideas for education would seem to have been largely taken up; the various education acts have seen to that.

The book as a whole is not terribly well structured and some of her sentences have a strange structure (even allowing for the Georgian period English), so you may find you have to read some sentences over again to grasp her meaning.

Jane Austen may have read this book, because contained therein are those immortal words "a good reputation once lost is lost for ever", as in Pride and prejudice. Serious students of Jane Austen need to read this book in conjunction with Fordyce's Sermons to Young Women to gain a full appreciation of the attitudes of the time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it! 13 May 2010
This is not an easy read. The writing is often dated, referencing people and events that I'd never heard of but that the author assumes are familiar, the footnotes help some. The language itself is frequently confusing, M. Wollstonecraft can write straightforwardly on one topic, then on the next she will get carried away by flowery imagery and passionate but annoying rhetoric. Her use of irony (if that's what it is when she writes from the perspective of her contemporary detractors) is also confusing and sometimes ill judged. However the book has been introduced as a quickly written draft that M.W. was going to polish at some stage before her untimely death. The value and quality of the arguments themselves shine through, at the time of the books publishing women had no rights, no voice, and this book is fascinating in its perception and hope. Reading it now and hearing her hope that at some distant 'future' children may be educated for free by the government, that boys and girls may go to school together, that there might be a uniform! is proof of how different the world was in 1790, and how amazing M. Wollstonecraft was. Well worth the read.
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fiddle! 3 April 2005
I would expect a reputable publisher like Penguin to make it clear that what they are offering with this "great ideas" collection is *abridged* versions of the books. Get the Dover Thrift edition instead!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it. 5 Feb 2012
This book is truly marvellous. Wollstonecraft is a brilliant woman; I can honestly say this is one of the few books I've ever read which is 'life-changing.'
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - A must read!
I would highly recommend this book as it makes a nice short read, it is however a difficult read as it is written in old English but don't let this put you off. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Scott Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Politics Student says "More relevant today than ever"
Some may claim sexism is dead and buried in the 21st century. Those people would be fools. Whilst gains have been made, Wollstoencraft's ideals are as relevant today than they were... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jamie Grant
4.0 out of 5 stars She is an intelligent fool and should be alive today to watch The...
I love this book and not just because Mary Wolstencraft wrote it, but it shows the world that women are incapable of being honest when given the freedom to think for self. Read more
Published 16 months ago by movamental
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect item
Perfect item, thououghly matching description. No delays in arriving date. Absolutely nothing to complain about. Satisfied both of article and of service.
Published 17 months ago by Gilda Sancarlo
5.0 out of 5 stars rights of woman
A book I had been recommended to read and found it very interesting, a view from long ago - how times change
Published on 20 Jun 2012 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Very complicated didn't really understand it
This book is very complicated... and i guess it would be OK for those of you studying this topic in depth, however for those of you looking for a simple book don't bother.
Published on 4 Jan 2004 by E. Howie
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