A Vindication of the Rights of Women: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects. London: for J. Johnson, 1792
8vo (8 3/8 x 5 in.; 212 x 128 mm). With the advertisement leaf (b6); upper margin of title renewed without loss, first few leaves somewhat browned. Contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt-ruled border, spine gilt-ruled in compartments with gilt-stamped title label; rebacked with two thirds of original spine laid down.
William Godwin. Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman. London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1798. 8vo (7 x 4 1/8 in.; 178 x 105 mm, uncut). Frontispiece portrait, errata leaf and advertisement leaf bound after title; offset on title. Contemporary boards, cream cloth clamshell box, gilt-stamped black leather title label on spine; rebacked.
First edition. "Contending for the rights of woman, my main argument is built on this simple principle, that if whe be not prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowlege, for truth must be common to all ..." (p. vii).
Until the last quarter-century, Wollstonecraft's tumultuous and non-conformist life has been read much more closely than her writing. After the devastating effect of Godwin's Memoirs, Wollstonecraft's reputation lay in tatters for a century, but with the emergence of feminist criticism in the 60s and 70s, her works have returned to prominence.
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