Oh yes, and whatever people say, there aren’t that many books or articles about her work. Not that many written from a philosophical perspective, that is. So one thing I’d very much like to know, is what books she’d read, what she knew about, and what is likely to have influenced her.(My working definition of the digital humanities, by the way, would emphasise online tools that make this sort of search easy and automatic. Who influenced whom.)
Sandrine discovers a book entitled The Honest Mind: The Thought and Work of Richard Price. She is rightly shocked that David Oswald Thomas saw fit to include barely a passing mention of our Mary. She doesn't say, but I suspect the date is significant: Thomas published in 1977, early days in the recognition of Mary by the second-wave feminists.
In a book that professes to show how ‘Price contributed to the intellectual life of his own time’, I find it seriously amiss that Wollstonecraft’s relationship to Price should not be discussed. In other words, it sucks big way.IANAH, remember? Nor is Sandrine ("So I tried pretending I was a historian, went online to look at archives and all"). It seems to me that it ought to be fairly straightforward to see who a person influenced, because they get quoted. Of course, in practice it isn't that easy: George Eliot read, quoted, and indeed wrote an essay about Wollstonecraft; Gladstone repeatedly read and annotated Wollstonecraft while he was planning the structure of the state education system, but probably didn't quote her publicly, as she was persona non grata for a Victorian politician to be hobnobbing with. (I would love to be corrected on this: did Gladstone acknowledge his indebtedness to her in shaping his thoughts?) Still, since MW is our target person, there is no shortage of intellectual descendants, and, generally speaking, it is not too hard to find out who they were. However, there are an awful lot of omissions in the historical record, which is why, with depressing cynicism, I have entitled this post "part one": I know for a fact there are some, and suspect there are many, such omissions.