Assorted Letters — Volume 1, Letter 20

By Mary Wollstonecraft (1798)

Entry 11499

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Revolt Library Feminism Assorted Letters Volume 1, Letter 20

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(1759 - 1797)

Grandmother of Modern, Western Feminism

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences. 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. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman , in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. After Wollstonecraft's death, her widower published a Memoir of her life, revealin... (From: Wikipedia.org / Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosoph....)


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Volume 1, Letter 20

Sunday, August 17.

— — — — — — — — — — —

— — — — — — — — — — —

— — — — — — — — — — —

I have promised ——— to go with him to his country-house, where he is now permitted to dine—I, and the little darling, to be sure[47-A]—whom I cannot help kissing with more fondness, since you left us. I think I shall enjoy the fine prospect, and that it will rather enliven, than satiate my imagination.

I have called on Mrs. ———. She has the manners of a gentlewoman, with a dash of the easy French coquetry, which renders her piquante.—But Monsieur her husband, whom nature never dreamed of casting in either the mold of a gentleman or lover, makes but an aukward figure in the foreground of the picture.

The H——s are very ugly, without doubt—and the house smelt of commerce from top to toe—so that his abortive attempt to display taste, only proved it to be one of the things not to be bought with gold. I was in a room a moment alone, and my attention was attracted by the pendule—A nymph was offering up her vows before a smoking altar, to a fat-bottomed Cupid (saving your presence), who was kicking his heels in the air.—Ah! kick on, thought I; for the demon of traffic will ever fright away the loves and graces, that streak with the rosy beams of infant fancy the somber day of life—whilst the imagination, not allowing us to see things as they are, enables us to catch a hasty draft of the running stream of delight, the thirst for which seems to be given only to tantalize us.

But I am philosophizing; nay, perhaps you will call me severe, and bid me let the square-headed money-getters alone.—Peace to them! though none of the social sprites (and there are not a few of different descriptions, who sport about the various inlets to my heart) gave me a twitch to restrain my pen.

I have been writing on, expecting poor ——— to come; for, when I began, I merely thought of business; and, as this is the idea that most naturally associates with your image, I wonder I stumbled on any other.

Yet, as common life, in my opinion, is scarcely worth having, even with a gigot every day, and a pudding added thereunto, I will allow you to cultivate my judgment, if you will permit me to keep alive the sentiments in your heart, which may be termed romantic, because, the offspring of the senses and the imagination, they resemble the mother more than the father[50-A], when they produce the suffusion I admire.—In spite of icy age, I hope still to see it, if you have not determined only to eat and drink, and be stupidly useful to the stupid—

Yours                

* * * *

From : Gutenberg.org

(1759 - 1797)

Grandmother of Modern, Western Feminism

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences. 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. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman , in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. After Wollstonecraft's death, her widower published a Memoir of her life, revealin... (From: Wikipedia.org / Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosoph....)

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1798
Volume 1, Letter 20 — Publication.

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December 28, 2021; 6:35:46 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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March 26, 2022; 11:51:33 AM (America/Los_Angeles)
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