A vindication of the rights of men ; with, A vindication of the rights of woman, and Hints


A vindication of the rights of men ; with, A vindication of the rights of woman, and Hints

Mary Wollstonecraft ; edited by Sylvana Tomaselli

(Cambridge texts in the history of political thought)

Cambridge University Press, 1995

  • : hbk
  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



Mary Wollstonecraft, often described as the first major feminist, is remembered principally as the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), and there has been a tendency to view her most famous work in isolation. Yet Wollstonecraft's pronouncements about women grew out of her reflections about men, and her views on the female sex constituted an integral part of a wider moral and political critique of her times which she first fully formulated in A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790). Written as a reply to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), this is an important text in its own right as well as a necessary tool for understanding Wollstonecraft's later work. This edition brings the two texts together and also includes Hints, the notes which Wollstonecraft made towards a second, never completed, volume of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.


  • 1. The rights and involved duties of mankind considered
  • 2. The prevailing opinion of a sexual character discussed
  • 3. The same subject continued
  • 4. Observations on the state of degradation to which woman is reduced by various causes
  • 5. Animadversions on some of the writers who have rendered women objects of pity, bordering on contempt
  • 6. The effect which an early association of ideas has upon the character
  • 7. Modesty - comprehensively considered, and not as a sexual virtue
  • 8. Morality undermined by sexual notions of the importance of a good reputation
  • 9. Of the pernicious effects which arise from the unnatural distinctions established in society
  • 10. Parental affection
  • 11. Duty to parents
  • 12. On national education
  • 13. Some instances of the folly which the ignorance of women generates
  • with concluding reflections on the moral improvement that a revolution in female manners might naturally be expected to produce.

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