Feminist Who Was Swayed by Passion; MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT: A REVOLUTIONARY LIFE by Janet Todd (Weidenfeld, [Pounds Sterling]25)

Daily Mail (London), May 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

Feminist Who Was Swayed by Passion; MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT: A REVOLUTIONARY LIFE by Janet Todd (Weidenfeld, [Pounds Sterling]25)


Byline: CHRISTOPHER HUDSON

WHAT a remarkable woman she was - clever, impulsive, eloquent, strikingly good looking; her philosophy of life based on stern reason, yet constantly overthrown by her tempestuous passions.

In her most famous book A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women - written in 1792 and a

Magna Carta for British feminism - she says of women: 'I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves.' Yet Mary Wollstonecraft never succeeded in living up to her own prescription.

Her reputation is that of

with her writing and worked outward to the life.

Janet Todd works the other way round - and to good effect, because Mary's life and relationships illustrate the tensions between love, motherhood and independence more dramatically than any of her writings.

Sa rather severe, intimidating woman, very much a bluestocking, but that is because most of her biographers have started with her writing and worked outward to the life.

Janet Todd works the other way round - and to good effect, because Mary's life and relationships illustrate the tensions between love, motherhood and independence more dramatically than any of her writings.

SHE loved one woman and at least three men, bore an illegitimate child, and survived two suicide attempts.

Whereas Jane Austen lived through the French Revolution without mentioning it, Mary Wollstonecraft was in the thick of it.

Born in 1759, she learned early about the unfairness of women's lives. Her father was a moody, foul-tempered drunk-

ard who beat his wife, failed in several businesses and purloined what little legacy Mary had been given in trust.

Although she learned to stand up for herself, she learned also to associate marriage with tyranny.

In London she met Fanny Blood - at 18, two years her senior - a girl from a poor family but with the intelligence and sophistication Mary hungered to share.

Years later she described it as: 'A friendship so fervent as for years to have constituted the ruling passion of my mind.

After nursing her mother through her last illness, Mary lodged with the Bloods for a year, sewing through the night to help support the family.

She took the lead in everything.

She persuaded her depressive sister Eliza to leave her bullying husband (even though poor Eliza was so frantic at having to abandon her new baby that she bit her wedding ring to pieces in the coach Mary hired to carry her away) and established a school in Newington Green where she and Fanny, Eliza and her other sister Evalina could teach.

Fanny left to get married.

Mary followed her beloved friend to Portugal, and arrived in time for Fanny to die in her arms, after giving birth to a child who died also.

It was this traumatic experience which determined Mary to speak out on the plight of women. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Feminist Who Was Swayed by Passion; MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT: A REVOLUTIONARY LIFE by Janet Todd (Weidenfeld, [Pounds Sterling]25)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.