Wollstonecraft, Mary: Further Reading

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Todd, Janet M. Mary Wollstonecraft: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishers, 1976, 124 p.

Surveys criticism on Wollstonecraft from her contemporaries through the mid-1970s.

Windle, John. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, 1759-1797: A Bibliography of the First and Early Editions, with Briefer Notes on Later Editions and Translations. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 2000, 71 p.

Contains entries covering the publishing history of Wollstonecraft's major and minor works.


Flexner, Eleanor. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Biography. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., 1972, 307 p.

Emphasizes the role of Wollstonecraft's early life in the development of her ideas, but is somewhat critical of Wollstonecraft's behavior; updates and corrects Ralph Wardle's 1951 biography.

Jacobs, Diane. Her Own Woman: The Life of Mary Wollstonecraft. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001, 333 p.

Uses new letters and sources to update Wollstonecraft's biography; also discusses the lives and work of her daughters and the scope of her influence in women's history.

Jump, Harriet Devine. Mary Wollstonecraft, Writer. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994, 172 p.

Stresses the development of Wollstonecraft's feminist thought in the context of the political atmosphere of her times, especially the growth of radicalism; also offers a complete overview of Wollstonecraft's life as an author.

Rauschenbusch-Clough, Emma. A Study of Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rights of Woman. New York: Longmans, Green, 1898, 234 p.

Links Wollstonecraft to the emerging thought of her time as well as the socialist writers who followed her; the first full-length study of Wollstonecraft.

Todd, Janet. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000, 516 p.

A scholarly but engaging biography from an important scholar of eighteenth-century women's writing; details Wollstonecraft's difficult family relationships, drawing primarily from Wollstonecraft's letters.

Tomalin, Claire. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974, 316 p.

Narrative biography recounting Wollstonecraft's many personal quirks and failings as well as her drive and intellectual achievements; Tomalin is the author of several popular biographies of major writers including Jane Austen, Katherine Mansfield, and Samuel Pepys.

Wardle, Ralph. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Critical Biography. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1951, 366 p.

Relies heavily on letters to tell the story of Wollstonecraft's life, noting the course of her intellectual development; considered a milestone in twentieth-century scholarship on Wollstonecraft.


Badowska, Ewa. "The Anorexic Body of Liberal Feminism: Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 17, no. 2 (fall 1998): 283-303.

Focuses on the intersection of the female body and political discourse as sites for constructing feminine identity in Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

Barlowe, Jamie. "Daring to Dialogue: Mary Wollstonecraft's Rhetoric of Feminist Dialogics." In Reclaiming Rhetorica: Women in the Rhetorical Tradition, edited by Andrea A. Lunsford, pp. 117-36. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995.

Examines Wollstonecraft's use of different genres as an effort to engage in dialogue with the male-dominated intellectual tradition in the larger service of achieving the practical social ends of feminism.

Blakemore, Steven. "Rebellious Reading: The Doubleness of Wollstonecraft's Subversion of Paradise Lost." Texas Studies in Language and Literature 34, no. 4 (winter 1992): 451-80.

Claims that Wollstonecraft subverted the ideology of Paradise Lost by creating a picture of Eve that both sustains and undermines Wollstonecraft's feminist myth.

Brody, Miriam. "Mary Wollstonecraft: Sexuality and Women's Rights." In Feminist Theorists: Three Centuries of Key Women Thinkers, edited by Dale Spender, pp. 40-59. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983.

Considers Wollstonecraft's view of sexuality and its implications for her feminist argument in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

——. "The Vindication of the Writes of Women: Mary Wollstonecraft and Enlightenment Rhetoric." In Feminist Interpretations of Mary Wollstonecraft, edited by Maria J. Falco, pp. 105-23. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.

Contends that A Vindication of the Rights of Woman asserts women's right to write polemically.

Cole, Lucinda. "(Anti)Feminist Sympathies: The Politics of Relationship in Smith, Wollstonecraft, and More." ELH 58, no. 1 (spring 1991): 107-40.

Discusses the language of sympathy in Wollstonecraft's works as compared with Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments and the works of Hannah More.

Conger, Syndy M. Mary Wollstonecraft and the Language of Sensibility. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1994, 214 p.

Addresses the apparent paradox of Wollstonecraft's strong faith in reason and her intense emotionalism, applying modern critical insight from diverse fields including linguistics, psychology, and feminist theory.

D'Arcy, Chantal Cornut-Gentille. "Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman as Generator of Differing Feminist Traditions." Links and Letters 2 (1995): 47-61.

Relates Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to the development of modern feminist literary theory in its various aspects.

Ellison, Julie. "Redoubled Feeling: Politics, Sentiment, and the Sublime in Williams and Wollstonecraft." Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 20 (1990): 197-215.

Compares Helen Maria Williams's Letters from France to Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, noting the relationship between politics and the language of feeling.

Gunther-Canada, Wendy. "Mary Wollstonecraft's 'Wild wish': Confounding Sex in the Discourse on Political Rights." In Feminist Interpretations of Mary Wollstonecraft, edited by Maria J. Falco, pp. 61-84. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.

Demonstrates how Wollstonecraft disputed the gender distinctions that excluded women from the discourse of political rights; examines both A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and her Vindication of the Rights of Men.

Guralnick, Elissa S. "Radical Politics in Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman." Studies in Burke and His Times 18, no. 3 (autumn 1977): 155-66.

Argues that A Vindication of the Rights of Woman carries implications beyond feminism in that it is a "radical political tract" on the order of, though surpassing, A Vindication of the Rights of Men.

Harasym, S. D. "Ideology and Self: A Theoretical Discussion of the 'Self' in Mary Wollstonecraft's Fiction." English Studies in Canada 12, no. 2 (June 1986): 163-77.

Examines the novel Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman, contending that Wollstonecraft's identification of herself with her protagonist complicated her portrayal of a utopian feminist ideology.

Homans, Margaret. "Feminist Fictions and Feminist Theories of Narrative." Narrative 2, no. 1 (January 1994): 3-16.

Compares the ways in which Wollstonecraft's Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God comment on the narrative structures available to women.

Johnson, Claudia L. "Mary Wollstonecraft." In Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender, and Sentimentality in the 1790s: Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, Burney, Austen, p. 239. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Considers the language of sentiment, particularly "excessive" feminine feeling, as a site of feminist struggle in Wollstonecraft's writing.

——, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 284 p.

Collects several essays addressing Wollstonecraft's views on women, education, and religion; contributors include Wollstonecraft scholars Janet Todd, Mitzi Myers, Vivien Jones, Anne K. Mellor, Cora Kaplan, and others.

Jones, Vivien. "Femininity, Nationalism, and Romanticism: The Politics of Gender in the Revolution Controversy." History of European Ideas 16, nos. 1-3 (1993): 299-305.

Compares Helen Maria William's Letters From France and Wollstonecraft's Historical and Moral View of the Origin and Progress of the French Revolution in terms of the construction of national, sexual, and literary identities.

Keane, Angela. "Mary Wollstonecraft's Imperious Sympathies: Population, Maternity, and Romantic Individualism." In Body Matters: Feminism, Textuality, Corporeality, edited by Avril Horner and Angela Keane, pp. 29-42. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2000.

Views Wollstonecraft's feminism as a critique of capitalism as it enforced a mind-body split in women; focuses on images of motherhood in Wollstonecraft's writing.

Mackenzie, Catriona. "Reason and Sensibility: The Ideal of Women's Self-Governance in the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft." Hypatia 8, no. 4 (fall 1993): 35-55.

Examines the language of feeling and sentiment in Wollstonecraft's writings as applied to women and the capacity for individual authority.

Maurer, Shawn Lisa. "The Female (As) Reader: Sex Sensibility, and the Maternal in Wollstonecraft's Fictions." Essays in Literature 19, no. 1 (spring 1992): 36-54.

Contends that Wollstonecraft attempted to develop an active subjectivity for women constituted in relation to a woman's role as mother.

Myers, Mitzi. "Pedagogy as Self-Expression in Mary Wollstonecraft: Exorcising the Past, Finding a Voice." In The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women's Autobiographical Writings, edited by Shari Benstock, pp. 192-210. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.

Applies a feminist approach and theory of autobiography to reading Wollstonecraft's autobiographical writings as well as her fiction; addresses the female struggle to craft an identity in writing.

——. "Sensibility and the 'Walk of Reason': Mary Wollstonecraft's Literary Reviews as Cultural Critique." In Sensibility in Transformation: Creative Resistance to Sentiment from the Augustans to the Romantics; Essays in Honor of Jean H. Hagstrum, edited by Syndy McMillen Conger, pp. 120-44. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990.

Examines Wollstonecraft's writings for the Analytical Review as attempts to develop her unique voice as a theorist of gender, particularly as she attempts to combine sensibility and reason into a broader humanism.

Paulson, Ronald. "Burke, Paine, and Wollstonecraft: The Sublime and the Beautiful." In Representations of Revolution (1789-1820), pp. 57-87. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.

Examines Wollstonecraft's Rights of Men as an answer to Burke, focusing on Wollstonecraft's critique of feminine beauty as a tyrannical concept.

Poovey, Mary. "Mary Wollstonecraft: The Gender of Genres in Eighteenth-Century England." Novel 15, no. 2 (winter 1982): 111-26.

Delineates Wollstonecraft's central ambivalence in Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman.

——. "Man's Discourse, Woman's Heart: Mary Wollstonecraft's Two Vindications. "In The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology and Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen, pp. 48-81. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1984.

Posits that Wollstonecraft's life and work indicate an unresolved conflict between the author's belief in female autonomy and her continuing adherence to traditional bourgeois cultural roles.

Robinson, Daniel. "Theodicy versus Feminist Strategy in Mary Wollstonecraft's Fiction." Eighteenth-Century Fiction 9, no. 2 (January 1997): 183-202.

Contrasts the ways in which Wollstonecraft attempts to reconcile her feminism and her religious faith in Mary, A Fiction and Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman.

Sapiro, Virginia. A Vindication of Political Virtue: The Political Theory of Mary Wollstonecraft. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992, 366 p.

Describes Wollstonecraft's views on women as part of a fully developed political philosophy; links Wollstonecraft's thought to modern debates on liberal democracy.

Shanley, Mary Lyndon. "Mary Wollstonecraft on Sensibility, Women's Rights, and Patriarchal Power." In Women Writers and the Early Modern British Political Tradition, edited by Hilda L. Smith, pp. 148-67. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Explores Wollstonecraft's discussion of the relationship between domestic and political patriarchy; focuses on A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the novel Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman.

Taylor, G. R. Stirling. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Study in Economics and Romance. John Lane, 1911, 210 p.

A very admiring early study of Wollstonecraft's work and thought, with attention to the condition of women in Wollstonecraft's time and the ongoing need for improvement in women's rights.

Wilson, Anna. "Mary Wollstonecraft and the Search for the Radical Woman." Genders 6 (November 1989): 88-101.

Compares Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man, emphasizing the treatment of radicalism.

Woolf, Virginia. "Four Figures." In Collected Essays. Vol. III, pp. 181-206. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1967.

Characterizes Wollstonecraft's life, work, and influence, focusing on the writer's passion and originality.

Yeo, Eileen James, ed. Mary Wollstonecraft and 200 Years of Feminisms. London: Rivers Oram Press, 1997, 276 p.

Contains essays addressing Wollstonecraft's influence on modern feminism and surveying the history of Wollstonecraft's reputation and critical interpretations of her work.


Additional coverage of Wollstonecraft's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: British Writers Supplement, Vol. 3; Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, 1789-1832; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 39, 104, 158, 252; Feminist Writers; Literature and Its Times, Vol. 1; Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, Vols. 5, 50, 90; Literature Resource Center; Reference Guide to English Literature, Ed. 2; Twayne's English Authors; and World Literature and Its Times, Vol. 3.

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