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Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  42 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
With Mary Wollstonecraft and her "A Vindication of the Rights of Women, " published in 1792, a modern female consciousness came clearly into being, one that tied the mind to the body. This beautifully written biography, the first new study of Mary Wollstonecraft in thirty years, argues that it is her life and letters that are her most lasting legacy.

Her story reads like a
Paperback, 538 pages
Published February 22nd 2002 by Columbia University Press (first published May 1st 1976)
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Jan 03, 2013 Kadesh rated it did not like it
Todd's thoroughly researched literary biography remains one of the most important contributions to Wollstonecraft scholarship. For depth of coverage and factual background into her life, this biography cannot be rivaled.

However, the influence of Freud via Lacan and Julia Kristeva in 1980s literary criticism appears to have made it impossible for Todd to "read" the fact of Wollstonecraft's mental illness as it influenced her life and works without imposing a shockingly harsh and (to me even more
Nov 14, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book left me with no affection for Mary Wollstonecraft. Though carefully researched and well documented, the frequent and lengthy sections of quotation from letters become pedantic. Mary's relationship with her sisters is interesting, but overwhelming in this story. So is reference to her book Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman As a biography it does remain firmly focused on Mary's life, to the point where her death seems abrupt. Despite the focus on relationships, any other "character" in Mary ...more
Robyn Smith
Jun 11, 2014 Robyn Smith rated it liked it
This is an enormous tome of a book and it's so unnecessary because a good half of it is taken up with telling the reader how depressed Wollstonecraft was and relaying endless letters to her sisters and other people telling them how depressed she was. In actual fact, she wasn't a very nice person, having decided at a young age that she wanted to be first in everyone's life and plaguing everyone she knew with this idea ad nauseam.
I knew she'd married William Godwin before I read the book, but this
Kit Kincade
Feb 19, 2015 Kit Kincade rated it liked it
Wollstonecraft turned out to be nothing like I had imagined. It must have been very frustrating for Janet Todd to write this. When Susan Eilenberg reviewed it for the _London Review of Books_, she said, "It is hard to write about her even sympathetically without seeming hostile. The more a biographer tells – and the more she cares about her subject, the more she can tell – the worse the story sounds...For after decades of devoted feminist interest and patient, genial scholarship, Todd finds in W ...more
Anthony Souls
Feb 16, 2011 Anthony Souls rated it it was ok
I thought this books was alright, but it could of been better. It picked up a bit around page 158 to 200 and then went back to being boring. The only way i got through this book was to sorta research it, and found that there is a lot of B.D.S.M in this book. I guess you can see that because she was a feminist.

I thought she was more of a hypocrite than a feminist person. She kept wavering off and on about her beliefs of women having equal rights and she finally found her true love, i will say, s
Aria Ligi
May 05, 2015 Aria Ligi rated it it was amazing
This is a well researched and excellently written book.
May 17, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
Mary was a woman way ahead of her time. She was faced with many problems but I feel they were of her own making. She is much like the women of today seeking the life does not push women to the bottom of the rung while only males climb the ladder. She is making her impact now. What better time to open her book and see what she went though. Every enjoyable read if not a bit repetitious.
Maya Rock
Apr 01, 2008 Maya Rock rated it liked it
Mary Wollstonecraft had an incredible life. And to add to all that she begat Mary Shelley! What really stood out for me though was how much she always had to struggle to make money. This biography was good, but really conveyed that in between high points of achievement was a long, tough, anxiety-ridden life.
Charlotte Gordon
Oct 20, 2009 Charlotte Gordon rated it it was amazing
I admire Professor Todd's erudition. She is also a smart, funny writer. This is a great literary biography of a fascinating woman.
Mar 19, 2013 Kathleen marked it as to-read
Shelves: s-factor-list
Not on list but looks interesting and pertinent
get this from the library
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Janet Margaret Todd is a Welsh-born academic and a well-respected author of many books on women in literature. Todd was educated at Cambridge University and the University of Florida, where she undertook a doctorate on the poet John Clare.
She is currently the Herbert JC Grierson Professor of English Literature at the University of Aberdeen. On 1 September 2008, Professor Todd took up the post of P
More about Janet Todd...

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