Columbia University Press, April 2023
Susan Wolfson, Professor of English
Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) made a pioneering and durably inﬂuential argument for women’s equality. Emerging from the turbulent decade of the French Revolution, her vindication delivered a systematic critique of the treatment of women across time and place. Drawing on extensive experience teaching and writing about Wollstonecraft, Susan J. Wolfson offers new insight into how Wollstonecraft’s particular methods, style and energy make this case for her readers. Wolfson reveals her as a pioneer in decoupling sex from gender and shows how she provided an enduring model of how to be a female intellectual. Sharing the excitement of reading Wollstonecraft’s work with care for her literary as well as political genius, this book provides fresh perspectives both for ﬁrst-time readers and those seeking a nuanced appreciation of her achievements.