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Mary, a Fiction

2.87 of 5 stars 2.87  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Mary: A Fiction (1788) is an autobiographical novel by Mary Wollstonecraft. It presents the tale of a woman who is dissatisfied with traditional marriage, which she compares to slavery, and wants to live life her own way.
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Published March 19th 2009 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 1788)
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Wollstonecraft is someone I have always been aware of, particularly as I have studied and written on women's rights quite a few times. As a proto-feminist she was one of the first women to speak out against gender inequality, and her fiction definitely follows this theme.

Mary is a young heiress ignored by her parents in favour of her older brother- a situation Wollstonecraft faced in her own life that continued to anger her for her whole life (the favouring of her brother that is, not the heires...more
Amanda Farag
As I am an avid fan of Wollstonecraft's other works, mainly philosophical writings, I was very excited to read her first novel. After reading this piece though, is clear this is one of her early writings and not as mature or eloquent as her later works. That being said, when placing this work in the context of when it was written during the late eighteenth century and the perspective it offers about marriage, charity, sensibility, friendship and the expectations of women at that time it becomes...more
Poor Mary. Her parents ignore her until she becomes an heiress and then they die--but not before her father marries her off to the son of a man with whom there is a dispute for a portion of the acreage of Mary's estate. While the marriage conveniently solves the land dispute it leaves Mary tied to a man she, at first, does not know and later, loathes. Not to mention, now she can never marry for love. Again perhaps conveniently, her love interest is a sickly man who dies before marriage can becom...more
"Mary, A Fiction" is often supposed to be one of the world's first truly feminist novels. However, Wollstonecraft instead creates an insipid character named Mary (after the authoress, by any chance?) who very rarely speaks up in her own defense or acts with the revolutionary fervor Mary Wollstonecraft was famous for. The character Mary is born of dreadful beginnings and it is not until she unexpectedly becomes an heiress that her parents take note of her. Her parents, however, die shortly after...more
Rachel Brand
Read for EN4363: Romantic Writing and Women.

Technically, the edition I own is a Penguin 3-in-1, but I realised that I'd rather have my reviews of Mary, Maria and Matilda separate, and that using that edition on GoodReads would skew my reading statistics for the year.

I'm unsure as to whether Mary is a novella or a short-story. It only takes up 53 pages in my edition, but it's an incredibly small font. And given how tedious this book felt after a while, it might as well have been a full-length nov...more
Novella about the inequity of marriage.
Thoroughly enjoyed this short novel; I fell in love with the protagonist early on (despite her being self-indulgently woeful!) and willed her to be happy in life.
A great window into womens' lives in the 18th century too.
Be prepared for internal monologues and characters who do not inspire the reader with an ounce of sympathy. Bah! the writing style makes you very aware that you are reading a book. Not worth reading.
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Mary Wollstonecraft was an eighteenth century British writer, philosopher, and feminist. Among the general public and specifically among feminists, Wollstonecraft's life has received much more attention than her writing because of her unconventional, and often tumultuous, personal relationships. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay, Wollstonecraft married the philosophe...more
More about Mary Wollstonecraft...
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Mary & The Wrongs of Woman (2 in 1) A Vindication of the Rights of Men & A Vindication of the Rights of Woman & An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution (3 in 1) Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

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