The founder of modern feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was the most famous woman of her era. A brilliant, unconventional rebel vilified for her strikingly modern notions of education, family, work, and personal relationships, she nevertheless strongly influenced political philosophy in Europe and a newborn America. Now acclaimed biographer Lyndall Gordon mounts a spirited defense of this courageous woman whose reputation has suffered over the years by painting a full and vibrant portrait of an extraordinary historical figure who was generations ahead of her time.
About the Author
Lyndall Gordon lives in Oxford, England. She is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Brontë, T. S. Eliot, and Henry James. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Senior Research Fellow at St. Hilda's College, Oxford.
“Rich with new interpretations, sources, and detail . . . Captures the drama of Wollstonecraft’s life.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“Judicious, sympathetic, intelligent and utterly riveting . . . Gordon rescues Wollstonecraft from both reactionary disdain and soft-focus feminist sentiment.” — The Independent
“[A] distinguished biographer...Gordon offers fresh detail and insight...[Her] biography is eminently readable and rewarding.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Imaginative and intelligent, consistently absorbing... [Gordon] speculates and probes with a freewheeling intelligence that responds to Wollstonecraft’s own.” — New York Review of Books
“Gordon relates Wollstonecraft’s story with the same potent mixture of passion and reason her subject personified...Wonderful, and deeply sobering.” — New York Times Book Review
“Fierce and wonderful. . . . [Wollstonecraft is] a dazzling character on the brilliant page.” — John Leonard, Harper's Magazine
“Gordon vindicates this once-vilified ‘hyena in petticoats’ as a melancholy, complex, heroic feminist, stunningly ahead of her time.” — Bust Magazine
“[Wollstonecraft’s] aspirations to greatness...keep breaking through Ms. Gordon’s wonderfully wrought book like flashes of lightning.” — New York Sun
“Exceptional, emotionally overwhelming . . . A 360-degree exploration of Wollstonecraft in her era—and beyond.” — Newsday
“A sobering and inspirational read for women today. Readers who delve into it will meet a brave, visionary woman.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch