A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Book Cover
The Front Cover of an early edition of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
The First Edition of this controversial book was published in 1792 by the influential and radical publisher known as the 'father of the book trade' Joseph Johnson (1738 - 1809).
Mary Wollstonecraft, the book's remarkable author, first met Joseph Johnson at Dr Richard Price's house on Newington Green and Johnson went on to mentor and support Wollstonecraft in various ways, including publishing her work.
Some quotes from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - written over 300 years ago:
'In the present state of society it appears necessary to go back to first principles in search of the most simple truths, and to dispute with some prevailing prejudice every inch of the ground'..... (p1)
'I may be accused of arrogance; still I must declare what I firmly believe, that all the writers who have written on the subject of female education and manners... have contributed to render women more artificial, weak characters, than they would otherwise have been; and, consequently, more useless members of society' (p21)
'Make (women) free, and they will quickly become wise and virtuous, as men become more so; for the improvement must be mutual, or the injustice which one half of the human race are obliged to submit to, retorting on their oppressors, the virtue of men will be worm-eaten by the insect whom he keeps under his feet' (p182).
' Let woman share the rights and she will emulate the virtues of man; for she must grow more perfect when emancipated'... (p201)
The Newington Green Action Group are in the process of fundraising in order to erect a memorial sculpture Mary Wollstonecraft on Newington Green. Can you help us?