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Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark Paperback – 10 Aug 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 10 Aug 2004
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Open Gate Press; New edition edition (10 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0900001518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0900001512
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 14.6 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,930,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This collection brings to life a radical writer. (Katie Toms, The Observer) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

These twenty-five letters, published in 1796, describe Mary Wollstonecraft's audacious trip to Scandinavia to retrieve a stolen ship for her lover Imlay. More than just a travelogue, they provide fascinating insights into the radical philosophy of this influential thinker, and the inner turmoil she was experiencing at the time. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
If the guiding spirit of Wollstonecraft's `Original Stories' was Dissenting Christianity tinged with a little pantheism, in the `Letters' it is the other way round. Her typically rational, enquiring manner is still evident ("At supper my host told me bluntly that I was a woman of observation, for I asked him men's questions") but the landscape inspires her to frequent outbreaks of wonder at the sublime scenes before her. These rhapsodies are not confined to waterfalls and mountains, however, but also gentler, more homely scenes - the kind of thing that Burke would have called merely `beautiful' - in her solitary evening rambles. She cheerfully relates that, occasionally losing her way, she would to the consternation of the locals, have to clamber over ditches and hedges to get home. But even as she celebrates the simple life, she also attacks Rousseau's idealism. That the world needs improving, she does not question; we need to clear the forests and plant, to cultivate both crops and manners. She is no revolutionary; a middle-class radical at most, taking a `good manners' view of the Progress of Society. You can certainly tell that she had worked as a governess. She accepts entirely that there are to be strata in society, from the highest to the lowest, when she writes that `we' should care for `our' servants and treat them well; it is hard to imagine that she would ever dream of emancipating them.

Where Wollstonecraft's radicalism comes through most strongly is in her contrast of Norway and Sweden. She wishes to show that Norway is more advanced and sophisticated due to the political freedoms enjoyed by its populace, their relative economic independence and self-determination having served to elevate their minds.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am pleased with my purchase. I needed a copy of this book for study purposes. Wollstonecraft sounds like a remarkable woman for her time. It is a good read and was reasonably priced.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fine writing, insightful thinking.
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