Tomorrow marks the publication of the long-awaited Routledge Guidebook to Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, as part of a series of "guides to the great books". This is by philosopher Sandrine Berges, whose work we have looked at before, and who kindly wrote a guest post about how Mary Wollstonecraft came into her life.
Four years ago, I barely knew who she was. Then a (male) colleague suggested we introduce the two Vindications to our survey course in political philosophy. It was love at first read...She spoke at the philosophers' confab a year ago, for the 220th anniversary of MW's magnum opus:
Wollstonecraft offers one of the very few existing philosophical discussions of the virtue of chastity... Her account is somewhat complicated by the fact that she explains chastity as a derivative of modesty, not understood as a sexual virtue, but a just understanding of one's own worth.If I get my hands on a Routledge Guidebook (paperback, £17; hardback, £75; etheric booke, not yet released), I'd be delighted to review it here. In the meantime, we'll have to do with the publisher's description:
Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the greatest philosophers and writers of the Eighteenth century. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Her most celebrated and widely-read work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. This Guidebook introduces:
- Wollstonecraft’s life and the background to A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
- The ideas and text of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
It is ideal for anyone coming to Wollstonecraft’s classic text for the first time and anyone interested in the origins of feminist thought.
- Wollstonecraft’s enduring influence in philosophy and our contemporary intellectual life