A Vindication of the Rights of Woman


Wollstonecraft was forced to write the Rights of Woman hurriedly to respond to Talleyrand and ongoing events. Upon completing the work, she wrote to her friend William Roscoe: "I am dissatisfied with myself for not having done justice to the subject. – Do not suspect me of false modesty – I mean to say that had I allowed myself more time I could have written a better book, in every sense of the word . . . I intend to finish the next volume before I begin to print, for it is not pleasant to have the Devil coming for the conclusion of a sheet fore it is written."[70] When Wollstonecraft revised the Rights of Woman for the second edition, she took the opportunity not only to fix small spelling and grammar mistakes but also to bolster the feminist claims of her argument.[71] She changed some of her statements regarding female and male difference to reflect a greater equality between the sexes.[72]

Wollstonecraft never wrote the second part to the Rights of Woman, although William Godwin published her "Hints", which were "chiefly designed to have been incorporated in the second part of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman", in the posthumous collection of her works.[73] However, she did begin writing the novel Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman, which most scholars consider a fictionalised sequel to the Rights of Woman. It was unfinished at her death and also included in the Posthumous Works published by Godwin.[74]

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