5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A temple of solitude,
This review is from: "Mary" and "The Wrongs of Woman" (Paperback)
The story of 'Mary' is all about moods.
Being badly treated by her husband, Mary flees in the arms of her friend Ann. After Ann's death, Mary meets another friend, Henry, who also dies. In a new confrontation with her husband, Mary longs for Heaven, 'a world where there is neither marrying, nor giving in marriage.'
The overall sentiment in this book is 'pity mistaken for love'.
Although Mary promises herself to 'do anything rather than be a slave', her attitude to life is resignation: 'I cannot argue against instincts.' 'Happiness was not to be founded on earth, for life is a dream, a frightful one.'
Against the sorry state of the majority of the English population (hunger, want of education, poverty, misery and dirt) or the hypocrisy of religion ('Many prayers may fall from the lips without purifying the heart'), her only reaction is melancholy: 'I have been wounded by ingratitude.'
There is also an undertone of fear of sexuality and pregnancies: 'love leads to madness.'
Mary is a victim of life. She doesn't live. She is lived.
This story is certainly not one of the highlights of English literature. Its plot is poor and it doesn't have the biting aggression of Mary Wollstonecraft's other story 'Maria'.
But it is still a worth-while read.