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1. Mathilda
2. A Vindication of the Rights of
3. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft:
4. Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft
5. Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman
6. Mary Wollstonecraft
7. Frankenstein (Qualitas Classics)
8. Short Residence in Sweden, Norway,
9. Wollstonecraft: A Vindication
10. Feminist Interpretations of Mary
11. Mary; Maria; Matilda (Penguin
12. Letters Written during a Short
13. The Last Man (Wordsworth Classics)
14. Midnight Fires: A Mystery with
15. Proserpine and Midas
16. Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist
17. Mary A Fiction
18. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus:
19. Revolutionary Feminism: The Mind
20. Mary and The Wrongs of Woman (Oxford

1. Mathilda
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Paperback: 90 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003VS0V5M
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Mathilda is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent novel
Mathilda by Mary Shelley

This is a quality product. Very nice Kindle ebook.

5-0 out of 5 stars A mortal passion
Mary Shelley's story has been suppressed for over a century, because it treats a taboo subject: incest.

When Mathilda is being courted by a young man her father becomes violently jealous. He can't control his overwhelming passion -'My daughter,I love you' - and flees.
From being her God, her father becomes Matilda's nightmare: 'infamy and guilt was mingled with my portion; unlawful and detestable passion has poured its poison into my ears and changed all my blood (in) a cold fountain of bitterness.'
The lovers are doomed for the attraction is stronger than life: 'I am in love with death; no maiden ever took more pleasure in the contemplation of her bridal attirement than I in fancying my limbs already enwrapped in their shroud: is it not my married dress? Alone it will unite me to my father when in an eternal union we shall never part.'

Although sometimes too sentimental, 'Matilda' is a strong psychological portrait, brilliantly written by an intelligentand very well read author: 'more lovely than a sunbeam, slighter, quicker than the waving plumage of a bird, dazzling as lightning and like it giving day to night,yet mild and faint, that smile came.'

The story treats an important human conflict, partly resolved by evolution (C. Lumsden, E.O.Wilson - Promethean Fire).

Highly recommended. ... Read more

2. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and A Vindication of the Rights of Men
by Mary Wollstonecraft
Paperback: 464 Pages (2009-02-15)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$6.34
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Asin: 019955546X
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This volume brings together the major political writings of Mary Wollstonecraft in the order in which they appeared in the revolutionary 1790s. It traces her passionate and indignant response to the excitement of the early days of the French Revolution and then her uneasiness at its later bloody phase. It reveals her developing understanding of women's involvement in the political and social life of the nation and her growing awareness of the relationship between politics and economics and between political institutions and the individual. In personal terms, the works show her struggling with a belief in the perfectibility of human nature through rational education, a doctrine that became weaker under the onslaught of her own miserable experience and the revolutionary massacres.

Janet Todd's introduction illuminates the progress of Wollstonecraft's thought, showing that a reading of all three works allows her to emerge as a more substantial political writer than a study of The Rights of Woman alone can reveal. ... Read more

3. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft: Revised Edition
by Claire Tomalin
Paperback: 384 Pages (1992-09-01)
list price: US$17.49 -- used & new: US$10.50
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Asin: 0140167617
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Witty, courageous and unconventional, Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the most controversial figures of her day. She published "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"; travelled to revolutionary France and lived through the Terror and the destruction of the incipient French feminist movement; produced an illegitimate daughter; and married William Godwin before dying in childbed at the age of thirty-eight. Often embattled and bitterly disappointed, she never gave up her radical ideas or her belief that courage and honesty would triumph over convention. Winner of the Whitbread First Book Prize in 1974, this haunting biography achieved wide critical acclaim. Writing in the "New Statesman", J. H. Plumb called it, 'Wide, penetrating, sympathetic. There is no better book on Mary Wollstonecraft, nor is there likely to be'. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deserves at least 6 stars!
Mary Wollstonecraft was an excessively unsympathetic character - she was a user( in modern parlance anyway), she manipulated, she was deliberately obstructive and astonishingly naive and yet Tomalin's biography of this most irritating of women kept me completely enthralled from beginning to end. Wollstonecraft certainly was neither deified or demonised here - simply left to tell her own story through her actions.

There is very little quoted material in her, it is pretty much a narrative of her life from childhood through to her death. Tomalin has done enormous research on her life, the pieces tie in together seamlessly.

Wollstonecraft was (of course) the woman who wrote that seminal work on the Rights of Women - and that really seems to be her predominant claim to fame although her lifestyle was very unusual for her times - having open relationships with men (including married men such as the artist Fuseli). I was mostly struck by how little success she really acheived in her lifetime despite her driving attitude to work and enormous energy - it seems although it was all misdirected or perhaps that was a good thing considering her beliefs (odd for her time) and her resentments (numerous and very often unfounded)

Very very enjoyable read. ... Read more

4. Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft
by Lyndall Gordon
Paperback: 592 Pages (2006-05-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$2.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060957743
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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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.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars Of a Bad Lot
The truth is, none of the recent biographies are really satisfying. Claire Tomalin's is well known as inaccurate; Janet Todd's is unbelievably long and full of incredibly tedious discussions of Mary's dreary family; and Gordon's is really quite superficial -- and with weird opinions thrown in for good measure (9/11?).

None of these really grapples with Mary as a writer and thinker, which is -- apart from her "new genus" -- why she repays our interest today.In fact, when you look at her life (Todd is the best at this), you really see what a nasty person Mary was (with lots of reasons, given her upbringing); but her exasperating nastiness is really beside the point.Gordon's bio does come to life with the Mary/Godwin marriage -- but by then it is very late in the book.And then there is a huge digression into the future life of Margaret King (the result of the usual biographer's temptation to find something new to talk about).

We are still waiting for a good, balanced, biography of one of the most important women in history.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better Than Sherwood's Fiction
I actually preferred this over Frances Sherwood's novel about Mary Wollstonecraft.Whether you believe that Wollstonecraft had an affair with the painter Fuseli makes a big difference in how you perceive her.It makes her seem like a perpetual victim who was always making mistakes about men. This discredits Wollstonecraft as a pioneer of feminism.Lyndall Gordon rightly points out that there is no evidence that Wollstonecraft was involved with the married Fuseli and calls it "the Fuseli slander".

On the other hand, Gordon does engage in speculation herself.They are mostly educated speculationsand there is a good chance of them being true. I thought that the speculation that Wollstonecraft's lover Imlaywas a spy had the least credibility because there are other explanations for his behavior that seem more likely to me.

I was glad that Lyndall Gordon included such tantalizing bits about Shelley's first wife, Harriet Westbrook and Clare Claremont, the daughter of William Godwin's second wife.The little she has to say about them makes me think that they were extraordinary women and I'd love to know more.

2-0 out of 5 stars read Professor Sherwood's - " Vindication -a Novel"
In my opinion a better conceptualization Of Mary Wollstonecraft's
Life, Ideas, and Experinences is author: Frances Sherwood
Tile: Vindication.

However the Gordon book is an adequate read

3-0 out of 5 stars A frustrating biography
While I respect Gordon's decision to stick closely to journals and letters in writing her biography of Mary Wollstonecraft, I wondered why she offered so little in the way of the broader political world Mary was a part of it in the late 18th century, especial since she responded to it in her writings.The author offers little in regard to the meetings that were most intriguing, like the dinner parties hosted by her publisher, Joseph Johnson, that included leading revolutionary figures like Thomas Paine and her eventual husband, William Godwin.Gordon does talk about the revolutionary ferment in Britain at the time, but doesn't expand it into a broader discussion on how Mary's writings reflected these concerns, and how she managed to effectively escape censure, unlike Thomas Paine, who found himself being tried for sedition in absentia. What we get is a set of very intriguing stories, such as her long affair with Gilbert Imlay that took her to France and Scandinavia, that wet one's appetite but fails to satisfies one interest in her as a revolutionary figure.

Mary Wollstonecraft reached a broad audience with her writings, in particular A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which was in response to the new French government's Rights of Man.She, like other women who were part of the revolution, felt left out when the new government essentially turned its back on the rights of women.Mary avoided house arrest by secretly marrying Gilbert Imlay, an American in Paris.Gordon sets up many of the situations that befell Mary in Paris and her frustrating relationship with Imlay that came for nought after a long voyage to Scandinavia trying to recover his losses in regard to an ill-fated shipping venture.As with her brothers and sisters, Mary felt a strong responsibility to the man she loved, but this feeling was never fully reciprocated.

Gordon shows in detail how Mary had to deal with the paternalistic world of the late 18th century, from her good-for-nothing father, to her miserly elder brother, and the varoious relationships of her friends and family.All this is well and good, but Mary was a political writer, and we get so little of her actual thoughts on government, which were the focus of her many writings.

After all, Mary was one of the early suffragettes, and her writings form the cornerstone of feminist writings in the 19th century. Gordon alludes to Jane Austin and Virginia Woolf and other writers she felt were influenced by Mary in one way or another. Gordon had a pension for comparing Mary's real life to the fictional lives Austin had created in her novels. Time and time again, we read about what Mary suffered through, lending emotional weight to her writings, but there wasn't any real attempt to probe the intellectual origins of these writings. Mary may have saw herself as a new genus of woman, but her writings didn't come out of an intellectual void, and that is what is missing in this biography.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing account of a great life
This book is not the place to begin if you are not already convinced of Mary Wollstonecraft's genius. I began reading to find the author referring to Wollstonecraft as a genius without any preface for this claim. I was immediately thrown out of the narrative by this assumption. The author describes each of the books that Wollstonecraft wrote without bothering to asses their merit for the reader, are we to take for granted that they were great literary works? I found this lack of any sort of judgment of the subject strange. The book similarly failed to engage me in the narrative. The author leaves her subject for long discussions of the history of the family that she was a governess for. This subject did not have enough baring on Wollstonecraft's life to make it worth including. That such a unique and groundbreaking woman should have her life reduced to so dull a narrative, with so many assumption about her life disappointed me. The book itself failed to hold my interest. ... Read more

5. Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman
by Mary Wollstonecraft
Paperback: 92 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003VRZF90
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Mary Wollstonecraft is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Mary Wollstonecraft then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Maria - The Female Caleb Williams
"Maria" is an unfinished novel which Wollstonecraft intended todisplay the cruelty, injustice, and utter lack of personal freedom of womenin the late 18th century.Drawing on sources from Rousseau, to her husbandWilliam Godwin's "Political Justice" and "CalebWilliams," to her own "Vindication of the Rights of Woman,"Wollstonecraft sets up a scenario in which a woman falls prey to themaddening strictures of law.Although it may not initially appear so,"Maria" is very much in the strain of gothic literature. Wollstonecraft takes pains to illustrate that the gothic need not beenacted in castles or by demons, but can be just as horrifying, if not moreso, when 'normal' society proves to be an intractable villain itself.

The novel reads like a philosophical treatise, the main action beinglife stories told by the primary characters, Maria, her mad-house wardenJemima, and her unlikely lover, Henry Darnford, including their digressiverunning commentaries.As the novel begins, Maria is in the mad-house,deprived of her infant daughter by her greedy husband, George Venables,whom she despises.

As in Godwin's "Caleb Williams,"Wollstonecraft does not scruple to pile severe mental anguish upon clearinjustices to drive home her points regarding society's treatment of women. Her most vicious attacks are reserved for the law and surprisingly, forwomen.The law preserves a basis for treating women as perpetual minors,and unfortunately, women, realizing their powerlessness, too often resignthemselves to their lot.

Though fragmentary and incomplete,"Maria" has the same kind of power as "Caleb Williams,"and the two should be read together for maximum effect.The force ofWollstonecraft's writing comes from the fact that her observations werejust, and that she dared to voice them on behalf of all women. ... Read more

6. Mary Wollstonecraft
by Janet Todd
Paperback: 544 Pages (2002-03-15)
list price: US$29.00 -- used & new: US$14.95
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Asin: 0231121857
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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With Mary Wollstonecraft and her A Vindication of the Rights of Women, published in 1792, a modern female consciousness came clearly into being, one that tied the mind to the body. This beautifully written biography, the first new study of Mary Wollstonecraft in thirty years, argues that it is her life and letters that are her most lasting legacy. Her story reads like a novel -extraordinarily scandalous in conventional terms (a close involvement with a woman, two male lovers, an illegitimate child, and a habit of initiating amorous relationships), yet in her own terms always principled and highly moral. She strove to reconcile integrity and sexual desire, the duties and needs of a woman, motherhood and intellectual life, domesticity and fame.Amazon.com Review
The founding mother of feminism comes across as vividly as the heroine of a romantic novel in this fascinating biography, which quotes extensively from Wollstonecraft's correspondence to evoke her high-strung personality. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) gained an early horror of traditional marriage from observing the relationship of her despotic father and submissive mother. There were no accepted outlets for her energy and ambition in 18th-century England; not until she moved to London in 1788 and became "the first of a new genus," a professional woman writer, did Wollstonecraft come into her own as a member of a circle of radical intellectuals. A Vindication of the Rights of Women, published in 1792, made her famous, but she remained needy, self-absorbed, and self-dramatizing. "She could not bring herself to use the rational language of The Rights of Women on herself," writes British scholar Janet Todd. "Her own life was always delivered in the language of sensibility." Todd capably summarizes Wollstonecraft's writings and gives detailed accounts of her most important relationships: her stormy bond with her sisters; an intense teenage friendship with Fanny Blood, who later died in her arms after childbirth; the unhappy love affair with American Gilbert Imlay, father of her first child, whose infidelity prompted her suicide attempt; and an emotionally tumultuous but happy marriage to philosopher William Godwin. Modern feminists reading this unvarnished account may wish Wollstonecraft weren't quite so neurotic, but Todd must be admired for refusing to tidy up her subject's messy personality. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine telling of this incredible woman's story
I had the pleasure of reading this book while doing research for my biography, "Theodosia Burr Alston: Portrait of a Prodigy" (Corinthian Books, September 2002).Mary Wollstonecraft's "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects" (London: J. Johnson, 1792) had a profound influence on U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr, who became one of her earliest and most influential supporters in the United States. He immediately embraced Wollstonecraft's concepts of equal education and incorporated them into creating, through his teenage daughter, Theodosia, his model for the ultimate woman of the future: an exotic new intellectual hybrid embodying the education of a man with the natural qualities of a woman who possesses both the ability to reason -- and a soul (!!).Janet Todd's insightful telling of Wollstonecraft's life and her careful explanation of how Wollstonecraft's credo developed was both enlightening and enormously instructive.Todd's clear writing style makes her subject come alive.As a scholar writing a biography of Aaron Burr's daughter, I bought this book and read it because I had to.But I was so delighted with it that I then went back and re-read it because I WANTED to!

5-0 out of 5 stars revolution? what revolution?
This is a very good book. It is based on comprehensive research, extremely detailed, well written and sensitive. It is the best biography of Mary Wollstoencraft ever written and will remain so for a long time.

The really curious thing that comes through is that Wollstonecraft was less of a feminist than one might think. In fact she was an intelligent, sensitive, somewhat high-handed and dominant, woman. Her dearest wish in life was to find a man worthy of her; her dearest fear, to be abandoned by him.

At the time she wrote her most famous work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she was thirty years old and a virgin. The volume drips with contempt for women less talented, and less chaste, than herself. This is what makes her interesting; she is a textbook-case. Is it possible that with her, as with so many others, feminism at bottom is simply an attempt by women who do not have a man to avenge themselves on those who do?

4-0 out of 5 stars Very detalied and intelligent, but reads slowly
I truly enjoyed this book, as I had to read it for a paper. It tells of Mary Wollstonecraft and her travels, focusing mostly of life after A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman becuase it is heavily documented.

This is not a simple book. I found myself going to the dictionary a lot but those words help in the showing of this book as an intelligent piece of work.

Janet Todd has gone into a lot of detail when describing Wollstonecraft's life. If it described more, we'd be reading about how she held her fork and what exactly the bread looked like. Thoses details paint a more brilliant picture of MW than expected but can make the book move slowly. So much information is packed into the pages making the book a bit hard to swallow all at once.

I sincerely recommend reading the book in more than one sitting. ... Read more

7. Frankenstein (Qualitas Classics)
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Paperback: 236 Pages (2010-04-02)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$7.95
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Asin: 1897093519
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Frankenstein (also titled The Modern Prometheus but now generally referred to as Frankenstein), was written by Mary Shelley and first published anonymously in 1818. The title makes reference to one of the novel's main characters, a scientist named Victor Frankenstein, who learns how to create life. The monster itself has mistakenly been referred to as "Frankenstein", after its creator. The being Frankenstein creates is formed from pieces of buried remains that are brought to life with a spark of electricity. Intended to be made in the image of man, the being turns out to be larger than average and more powerful. The saga becomes increasingly frightening as man loses control over beast. The story has become a classic and stands as a leader in the horror genre. This publication of Frankenstein is part of the Qualitas Classics Fireside Series, where pure, ageless classics are presented in clean, easy to read reprints. For a complete list of titles, see:http://www.qualitaspublishing.comAmazon.com Review
Frankenstein, loved by many decades of readers andpraised by such eminent literary critics as Harold Bloom,seems hardly to need a recommendation. If you haven't read itrecently, though, you may not remember the sweeping force of theprose, the grotesque, surreal imagery, and the multilayereddoppelgänger themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece.Asfantasy writer JaneYolen writes of this (the reviewer's favorite) edition, "Thestrong black and whites of the main text [illustrations] are dark andbrooding, with unremitting shadows and stark contrasts. But thecentral conversation with the monster--who owes nothing to theoverused movie image … but is rather the novel's charnel-housecomposite--is where [Barry] Moser's illustrations show their greatestpower ... The viewer can all but smell the powerful stench of themonster's breath as its words spill out across the page. Strongbook-making for one of the world's strongest and most remarkablebooks." Includes an illuminating afterword by Joyce CarolOates. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (525)

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of Audio Drama of Frankenstein
This audio drama version of the Frankenstein story is very good.The adaptation and acting are very good.It conveys a sense of the original story in two hours of listening.
Note: this is the original Mary Shelly story, not the simplistic Hollywood movie version.

5-0 out of 5 stars Frankenstein embodies romantic ideals of self-discovery, mystical nature, and a quest for the sublime
Many of the main ideas of Romanticism are seen in Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein. The romantic period is characterized by a movement and departure away from scientific and rational ideas, in literature, ideology, and art. The artwork from the romantic era strove to capture and represent the sublime, the experience of nature, and the personalization of these experiences. This particular work of Mary Shelley is a story that is not from her own personal experience nor written in her own voice. This work is about a quest to achieve the sublime. Through the use of emotionally stirring words and a creative, gothic mood, Mary Shelley creates a romantic piece of artwork that drives one towards personal discovery and romantic ideology. Frankenstein is about Dr. Victor Frankenstein's quest to create a living being out of raw materials in his laboratory. With an emphasis on a "new way of seeing things", Dr. Victor Frankenstein applied imagination and creative thinking in order to better understand the world, perfect the vision of human beings, and better characterize the society in which we live. Being the dreamer, who is preoccupied by the sublime, suggest Dr. Victor Frankenstein and this novel, as a wonderful romantic work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Help
The school is using the book and my grand Daughter was happy to get it so fast Thanks

5-0 out of 5 stars teacher
Thank you for your prompt service with the merchandise. I appreciate it greatly and it was in proven condition. Thanks!

4-0 out of 5 stars Who's the Monster?
A surprise to me - Frankenstein is the name of the creator of the monster, not the monster itself.

The book is not only a cautionary tale; it also addresses responsibility and the pathos of loneliness.It is a good selection for Book Clubs as the topics are stimulating
discussion items.
... Read more

8. Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and Memoirs of the Author (Penguin Classics)
by Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin
Paperback: 320 Pages (1987-09-01)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$12.03
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Asin: 0140432698
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In these two closely linked works - a travel book and a biography of its author - we witness a moving encounter between two of the most daring and original minds of the late eighteenth century: "A Short Residence in Sweden" is the record of Wollstonecraft's last journey in search of happiness, into the remote and beautiful backwoods of Scandinavia. The quest for a lost treasure ship, the pain of a wrecked love affair, memories of the French Revolution, and the longing for some Golden Age, all shape this vivid narrative, which Richard Holmes argues is one of the neglected masterpieces of early English Romanticism."Memoirs" is Godwin's own account of Wollstonecraft's life, written with passionate intensity a few weeks after her tragic death. Casting aside literary convention, Godwin creates an intimate portrait of his wife, startling in its candour and psychological truth. Received with outrage by friends and critics alike, and virtually suppressed for a century, it can now be recognized as one of the landmarks in the development of modern biography. ... Read more

9. Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Men and a Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Hints (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
by Mary Wollstonecraft
Paperback: 389 Pages (1995-08-25)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$15.00
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Asin: 0521436338
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Mary Wollstonecraft 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 on men, and her views on the female sex constituted an integral part of a wider moral and political critique of her times that she first fully formulated in A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790). This fully annotated edition brings these two works together. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book - As Promised
The seller of this book sent me the item as listed! Legitimate seller! Great condition of the product I purchased! Even better price! Thanks!

4-0 out of 5 stars Old English, but necessary nonetheless
Wollstonecraft's writings are essential in both the early humanist political theory as well as one of the original feminist writers.Any feminist, French Revolution enthusiest, or student of political theory should read this book. To completely appreciate Wollstonecraft's argument, her respective position in society and own life need also be understood; where some editions include a historical biography. Two drawbacks in reading this book: 1) The language and tangentical writing style of Wollstonecraft is hard for modern readers to comprehend at an average paced reading rate, and 2) that to understand the Vindication of the Rights of Man, Edmund Burke's writings on the French Revolution should be read first, and it is in even staunchier writing style and language than Wollstonecraft. ... Read more

10. Feminist Interpretations of Mary Wollstonecraft (Re-Reading the Canon)
by Maria J. Falco
Paperback: 248 Pages (1995-11-01)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$31.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0271014938
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Combining the liberalism of Locke and the 'civic humanism' of Republicanism, Mary Wollstonecraft explored the need of women for coed and equal education with men, economic independence whether married or not, and representation as citizens in the halls of government. In doing so, she foreshadowed and surpassed her much better known successor, John Stuart Mill. Ten feminist scholars prominent in the fields of political philosophy, constitutional and international law, rhetoric, literature, and psychology argue here that Wollstonecraft, by reason of the scope and complexity of her thought, belongs in the 'canon' of political philosophers along with Rousseau and Burke, her contemporaries, both of whom she strenuously engaged in political debate.These essays explore the many aspects of her thought that resound so tellingly to the modern woman, including her ground-breaking attempt to be completely self-sufficient. The final bibliographical essay outlines the changing interpretations of Wollstonecraft's work over the past two hundred years and evaluates her standing among political theorists today. Contributors are Maria J. Falco, Penny A. Weiss, Virginia Sapiro, Virginia L. Muller, Wendy Gunther-Canada, Carol H. Poston, Miriam Brody, Moira Ferguson, Louise Byer Miller, and Dorothy McBride Stetson. ... Read more

11. Mary; Maria; Matilda (Penguin Classics)
by Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley
Paperback: 256 Pages (1993-05-04)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.75
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Asin: 0140433716
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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These three works of fiction - two by Mary Wollstonecraft, the radical author of "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman", and one by her daughter Mary Shelley, creator of "Frankenstein" - are powerfully emotive stories that combine passion with forceful feminist argument. In "Mary Wollstonecraft's Mary", the heroine flees her young husband in order to nurse her dearest friend, Ann, and finds genuine love, while Maria tells of a desperate young woman who seeks consolation in the arms of another man after the loss of her child. And Mary Shelley's "Matilda" - suppressed for over a century - tells the story of a woman alienated from society by the incestuous passion of her father. Humane, compassionate and highly controversial, these stories demonstrate the strongly original genius of their authors. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fierce feminist and a mortal passion
The two stories of Mary Wollstonecraft 'Mary' and 'Maria' (the latter unfortunately unfinished) tackle the same problem: the position of women in society. 'But a wife being as much a man's property as his horse, or his ass, she has nothing she can call her own.'
The reactions of their protagonists are diametrically opposed.
Mary's attitude to life is resignation: 'I cannot argue against instincts.' She longs for death, to enter a 'world where there is no giving in marriage.'
Maria, on the contrary, tries to take her destiny in her own hands and hits back: 'I feel that the evils women are subject to endure, degrade them so far below their oppressors as almost to justify their tyranny.'

Both stories show the author's general social preoccupations.
Mary is confronted with hunger, want of education, poverty and misery, but her reaction is melancholic: 'I have been wounded by ingratitude'.
Maria attacks 'the enslaved state of the labouring majority' and 'the evils which arise in society from the despotism of rank and riches.' She appeals for more social justice.

'Maria' is a much stronger work than 'Mary'. It has a better plot and its message is still actual.

'Matilda' was considered too shocking to be published for over a century, because it treats a taboo passion: incest.
It is a powerful portrait of a fatal attraction between a father and his daughter.
It is brilliantly written by an intelligent and very well read author: 'more lovely than a sunbeam, slighter, quicker than the waving plumage of a bird, dazzling as lightning and like it giving day to night, yet mild and faint, that smile came.'

The stories are excellently introduced by Janet Todd.

Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars I love you
When Matilda's dad admits to his daughter that he loves her the world falls apart for them both. How can this be so? Mary Shelley creates a scenario - so similar to aspects of her own childhood - that makes sense of this. The love expressed in this ever-so-ambiguous word is, in this case, the inappropriate form of love. What disappoints me about this is that no-one recovers from this situation, and others continue to be damaged/hurt. Once again, as I've seen in so many other works of fiction, the 'damaged' person is given no chance of recovery, of rising above the disaster.

Mary Shelley is such an interesting person (far more interesting than the popular interpretations of her novel Frankenstein suggest) but to appreciate her, even in part, I believe you need to consider her parents. Her father was William Godwin, perhaps the real originator of anarchism (although I don't think he used that word). He was a firm believer that people acting alone can achieve more and better than is achieved by having them controlled and imposed on by laws and governments. Mary's mother was Mary Wollstonecraft - a champion of equal rights for women. When Mary became pregnant, Mary and William chose to get married - not for themselves - they didn't believe in the institution of marriage - but for the child. Sadly Mary Wollstonecraft died in childbirth and William was left with a new baby (whom he named Mary after her mother) and a slightly older girl, Fanny.All of William's beliefs that people should live their own lives in their own preferred ways was challenged by Mary - especially in her relationship with the poet Percy Bysse Shelley whom she married (hence the name Mary Shelley).

When Mary lost her own baby boy William (named after her father?), she got some of her grief out by writing Matilda. But it appalled William and he refused to allow it to be printed. Even the strongest philosophies will fall apart!! But if you read Matilda and recall the facts of William and Mary's lives, you will see why.

This is a valuable book, containing not only Mary's short novel Matilda, but also two works of her mother.

Recommended other reading:
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley (this is a thoughtful and serious work)
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice - William Godwin (this is very long but is also very thoughtful and a great lead in to reading more accessible anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin, as well as less accessible ones like Max Stirner)
Caleb Williams - William Godwin
... Read more

12. Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (Cambridge Library Collection - Women's Writing)
by Mary Wollstonecraft
Paperback: 480 Pages (2010-10-28)
list price: US$23.99 -- used & new: US$23.99
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Asin: 1108018890
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) published this book, the last before her death in childbirth, in 1796. The twenty-five letters are an account of a daring wartime trip to Scandinavia to attempt to retrieve a stolen ship for her lover, the American adventurer Gilbert Imlay. Her letters describe the people and culture she encountered, as well as the beautiful natural surroundings she observed. But in addition to a travelogue these letters include political reflections on controversial topics such as prison reform, as well as revealing a very personal story of inner turmoil and dislocation. Wollstonecraft's letters were written at a difficult period in her life - she had recently attempted suicide - and their themes and emotional content influenced the Romantic poets of the following generation, even though the book's initial popularity waned after her death. For more information on this author, see http://orlando.cambridge.org/public/svPeople?person_id=wollma ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Scandinavian companionable settings
Mary Wollstonecraft's Scandinavian journey lasted from June to October 1795.This book consists of letters to Gilbert Imlay.
He was the father of her daughter.

The descriptions of Sweden, Norway and Denmark she saw during
this time are exceedingly conclusive and puts the reader there.


A charming use of the English language {although at times genteel};
nevertheless, poignantly stimulating to a fault telling what she

Truly a classic!

Dag Stomberg
St. Andrews, Scotland

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, poignant, beautifully written
I admit I am biased since I am reading this in an Email group called "18th Century Worlds", which perhaps give me more insight and perception into the world of Mary Wollstonecraft.But my Penguin edition of the book is very good, including as it does both Mary's "Short Residence" and the biography of her by her widowed husband William Godwin.Richard Holmes' introduction is a delight, situating the book in its context and also making the life of Mary accessible, and the relationships between Mary and the people of her day and age very interesting.

So back to the text of Mary's letters.If you have ever wondered what it was like to be an active, passionate, capable and brave woman at the latter end of the 18th century, when the French Revolution and the tides of Romanticism were sweeping over Europe, and challenging Enlightenment thought-- or even if you've never given a damn-- this is an attention-grabbing and engrossing account.Provided you can get over its prose, or approach it open-mindedly (which many easily bored illiterati might not be able to), you will be struck by its poetic qualities, and by Wollstonecraft's candid emotional intensity.

In the early 1790s, a poltically radical Englishwoman woman took a business trip to Scandinavia on behalf of her common-law husband, an American businessman involved in smuggling.She took with her only her young daughter, still a child, and her French maid."Residence in Sweden" is an account of her journey written in the form of letters to the man she left behind (though this doesn't show up in the text itself, the informative introduction gives the background).Partway into her trip, she leaves her child and the nurse behind and continues on her own to regions remote and picturesque, and foreign not only to most English women of the period, but to the majority of English men as well.

Wollstonecraft goes on philosopical rambles, as the images of social life and the landscape around her remind her of her experiences in revolutionary France.The text raise many questions important to the Enlightenment philosophes, about the role of women, man's place in nature, human habits and manners.Never are we allowed to forget that we are reading the words of a flesh and blood woman who feels deeply.Many of her recollections are painful, and sometimes she is depressed.But there is always something arrestingly beautiful in what she describes, some touch of the author's vivacity and the newness and intensity of her travels, to steer one away from the melancholy, or at least to make it something more sublime.

I'm taking this one with me to college, and I foresee many re-readings.Holmes calls it Mary's best literary work: it has none of the bombast of her "Vindication of the Rights of Woman" but instead is something even more thoughtful and readable.

For companion reading I highly recommend Claire Tomalin's "Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft". ... Read more

13. The Last Man (Wordsworth Classics)
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Paperback: 432 Pages (2004-11-05)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$1.85
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Asin: 1840224037
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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With an Introduction and Notes by Dr Pamela Bickley, The Godolphin and Latymer School, formerly of Royal Holloway, University of LondonThe Last Man is Mary Shelley's apocalyptic fantasy of the end of human civilisation. Set in the late twenty-first century, the novel unfolds a sombre and pessimistic vision of mankind confronting inevitable destruction. Interwoven with her futuristic theme, Mary Shelley incorporates idealised portraits of Shelley and Byron, yet rejects Romanticism and its faith in art and nature.Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and the radical philosopher William Godwin. Her mother died ten days after her birth and the young child was educated through contact with her father's intellectual circle and her own reading. She met Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1812; they eloped in July 1814. In the summer of 1816 she began her first and most famous novel, Frankenstein. Three of her children died in early infancy and in 1822 her husband was drowned. Mary returned to England with her surviving son and wrote novels, short stories and accounts of her travels; she was the first editor of P.B.Shelley's poetry and verse. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Last Man - A Futuristic Apocalyptic Vision
Many readers of Frankenstein are not aware that Mary Shelley wrote other novels. The Last Man is the first novel written about an apocalyptic future. In The Last Man, which takes place is the year 2073, everyone has died of a plague, resulting from a deadly gas released during a war, expect for one man, who is the narrator of the story.

The plague first strikes in Africa and other countries other than England, where most of the novel takes place and the main characters live. The people of England believe they are immune and develop a fear of foreigners and outsiders; anyone who is different. This theme resonates today in the age of AIDS, a disease that has the potential to kill many people. AIDS, similar to the plague in the novel, affects certain group more than others, and creates fear and hatred of different cultural and racial groups. In writing this novel, it seems as if Mary Shelley had a prophetic vision of what may hold true for the future of humanity.

1-0 out of 5 stars Tedious
This work by Frankenstein's author was accepted poorly when it first came out (1826), then remained out of print for over 130 years. I certainly see why that is, and feel that another few decades would have been to the good.

Despite its alleged topic, this actually presents a study in class consciousness from the dawn of the Victorian era. It spends the first half-hundred pages establishing the bona fides of the indigent protagonist. We very nearly approach p.130 before the word "plague" even appears, but spend all that time working out an elaborate and interlocked set of romantic interests. About mid-point in this book the pestilence makes a real appearance - except that we remain in the dark about its symptoms until seemingly healthy people drop from it at dramaturgically convenient moments, for no apparent reason.

That's when the alleged hero (a commoner) punts and genuine royalty shows its colors: an ineffectual blueblood, once declared insane by his own family, takes the reins and presides over humanity's implosion - against which, of course, the inherently noble Britons are the last to be affected, since something as low-class as a mere pathogen would necessarily infect lesser breeds of humanity first. In the end, the genetically royal leader dies of much more heroic causes than a plebian case of the whatevers, since that wouldn't be dignified enough.

If you want a classic study in class weirdness, this might be as good as it gets. The science fiction aspects falter, though, since Shelley couldn't imagine a twenty-first century without horse travel and long-hand communication technology. Then, I was baffled by her alternation between legible prose and spasms of flowery language that very nearly sank under the weight of their adjectives. I actually dragged myself to the last page of this woofer. On the whole, I found the effort quite free of literary reward.

-- wiredweird

2-0 out of 5 stars I so disagree with all of you
I guess I can understand how a rare few might like this book, but all these reviews are glowing.I loved Frankenstein.Shelley's over-the-top romantic style meshed well with the weight of her subject matter and the driving force of her narrative. She told that story efficiently.The Last Man is completely different.It's way too long.The prelude to the beginning of the plague takes up more than half the book. Though it takes place hundreds of years ahead of Shelley's time there is no speculation (other than the abdication of the British throne) about future societies, culture, or technology. The plague itself is poorly described and there are no attempts to explain why suddenly there is plague which is 99.99999999% fatal. Even in Shelley's time, a century before germ theory was beginning to be understood, public health and sanitation were advanced enough so pandemics were not nearly as bad as they had been just 400 to 500 hundred years previous, when the black death wiped out half of Europe.
On top of this Shelley's writing is flowery, excessive and romanticised to the point of ridiculousness.She manages somehow to be melodramatic and excruciatingly boring at the same time.
Verney's complete isolation at end of the book lasted for about 15 pages. This was the closest thing in the book to interesting. The fascination in the post-apocalyptic is the idea of the experience of the lone survivor or small group remaining alive, concept presented beautifully in books such as I am Legend, Earth Abides, On the Beach, and, of course, The Road.
Mary Shelley deserves credit for writing one of the first or perhaps even inventing the post-apocalyptic novel, which is not simply version of the Biblical Revelations.This book may have been terrifying in it's day, but now it pales in comparison to the many other volumes in it's genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mary Shelley
The Last Man by Mary Shelley

If you are a fan of Mary Shelley, then you will definetely enjoy this novel. Awesome ebook!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Visionary Work
I recall seeing a "Twilight Zone" episode close to fifty years ago, about a man who really wanted to be alone. He got his wish when a nuclear war wiped out everyone else. He was quite happy at this state of affairs, migrating to the New York library to spend the rest of his life reading all the books. Unfortunately, he tripped on the steps and broke his thick reading glasses. So much for solitary bliss.

Being the last man on earth is once again a hot topic, with two recent movies addressing the issue. I Am Legend is set to enter theatres on Dec. 14, and as of Late November of 2007, a movie based upon The Last Man is in Post Production. The movie updates the setting of The Last Man to take into consideration the technology advances of the past two centuries plus the seventy-odd years that will take place before the novel's action begins. Looking at the trailer, however, it appears that technological accuracy is the only improvement made to Ms. Shelley's novel. For those interested, information on the movie can be viewed at their website.

Reading Mary Shelley's The Last Man will, if nothing else, send you running to your history books to find out, among other things, when Napoleon waged his wars for world domination (the battle of Waterloo took place in 1815-eleven years before The Last Man was published), when English Monarchs became more of a figurehead than a ruler (1867), and when Jules Verne first wrote about traveling in a balloon (Five Weeks in a Balloon in 1863, Around the World in Eighty Days in 1872), and what type of plague would kill a person before the sun goes down on his first sick day.

As in Frankenstein Mary Shelley shows herself as a sci-fi pioneer and visionary with enough political savvy to know that the strife between Christian and Muslim would not be resolved even two hundred years into the future. She also envisioned that in this distant future, we would not be safe from disastrous epidemics, although she did not suggest that germ warfare (rather than a natural spread of disease) might be the culprit. Her visions of balloon travel as a means of rapid transit predates Jules Verne by forty years, which helps us forgive the fact that in her story ground transport, even for kings, consisted of horseback or carriage.

The Last Man was published about four years after the death of Mary's husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley drowned when his boat sank, a boat that Mary claims was not seaworthy, although a sudden squall might have caused the boat to capsize. Her husband's death in 1822 happened the same year that a miscarriage nearly took her own life and only two years after her half sister and Percy's ex-wife both committed suicide. One can see why Shelley's world-view might have been depressing, and The Last Man reflects this.

The story begins with a visit to a cave in which an unidentified narrator visits Naples in 1818, finding a manuscript in an inaccessible cave. The manuscript appears to be from the future, from the year 2079, and is written by one Lionel Verney, a close friend of the English king and Brother-in-Law to the greatest General since Napoleon. Verney will become the last man to inhabit the earth.

We follow Verney's manuscript from his early roots as a poverty-stricken orphan to his friendship with the heir-apparent to the throne of England and to a military campaign with his Brother-in-Law into plague-stricken Turkey, a campaign which touches off the worldwide plague that wipes out the human population of the Earth.

As much as I like and admire The Last Man as a visionary work, I also found a lot to dislike. I have read several books about real and fictional plagues, and have come to expect that one would at least see a description of what a plague victim experiences when in the throes of the disease. Shelley describes very little beyond a fever and a quick death. I would imagine that she was vaguely describing Pneumonic Plague, a mutation of Bubonic Plague that takes the pathogen airborne and which can kill in a matter of hours.

I also disliked Shelley's annoying habit of describing the outcome before she describes the action. I spent a lot of reading time backtracking because I was certain I missed something, since I seemed to have found out what was going to happen before I was supposed to. Our protagonist beset with grief, but I couldn't figure out why. As I read on, I discovered the reason for the grief, but since I already knew something bad was going to happen, the reading was more depressing than suspenseful.

On the up side, Mary Shelley's gifted use of the English language was perhaps better in this work than in Frankenstein. Also to her credit, Shelley, perhaps because of her many tragic experiences, quite accurately captures and expresses the angst of mourning. The Last Man was not Frankenstein, but if you have the patience to read it, you will find its mysterious makeup rather interesting. ... Read more

14. Midnight Fires: A Mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft
by Nancy Means Wright
Paperback: 248 Pages (2010-04-10)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.71
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Asin: 1564744884
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Mitchelstown Castle in County Cork, seat of the notorious Anglo-Irish Kingsborough family, fairly hums with intrigue. In 1786 the new young governess, Mary Wollstonecraft, witnesses a stabbing when she attends a pagan bonfire at which an illegitimate son of the nobility is killed. When the young Irishman Liam Donovan, who hated the aristocratic rogue for seducing his niece, becomes the prime suspect for his murder, Mary-ever a champion of the oppressed, and susceptible to Liam's charm-determines to prove him innocent. Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein) was celebrated, even a cause celebre in her day, as a notorious and free-thinking rebel. Her short life was highly unconventional, with the kidnap of her sister from an abusive husband, love affairs, an illegitimate child, religious dissent, a suicide attempt, participation in the French Revolution, and other eyebrow-raising episodes. Nancy Means Wright hopes that Midnight Fires, set during Mary's term as a governess in Ireland, will "present her to the world as the brilliant, yet wholly human, passionate, and conflicted woman that she was."


"Captivating. . . . As Mary snoops around in search of the culprit, she is bound not to lose herself to the mystery, her job, or the charms of any man. Wright deftly illuminates 18th-century class tensions." Publishers Weekly (2/15/10) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mary Wollstonecraft - what a gal!
I don't read a lot of mysteries but as a historical fiction lover I'm trying to add a few historical mysteries to my diet. I enjoyed this book, although I don't think there's anything remarkable about the mystery aspect of it, and it doesn't have that suck-you-in, heartpounding factor of a thriller. What drew me to it were its historical setting in eighteenth-century Ireland and its real-life heroine, Mary Wollstonecraft.

Hands down the best part of this book is Mary. Mary's a gem of a character. Normally a heroine in a historical fiction novel who is ahead of her time in thought and action would be unrealistic, but Mary really was that kind of woman! In fact, her first book, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, makes an appearance in this story.

Smarting from a failed love affair, indebted and responsible for her sisters' welfare, Mary leaves London behind and takes a one-year assignment as a governess to a noble Irish family, though she has serious reservations:

"Governesses, she had heard, constituted one of the largest classes of insane women in asylums. The thought was not at all comforting."

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and this gig as a governess is temporary. Mary has plans, she's going to be being an authoress, and the Kingsboroughs provide plenty of inspiration:

"I haven't penned a novel," she said. "But I do have one in mind."

And she had, yes. She had begun a novel in her head. One of the characters would be a lady who loved her dogs more than her daughters. A lord who hunted, womanized, pitchcapped unhappy peasants, and drank his way through life...

She found it promising. She imagined the faces of her dumbfounded employers as they read her first novel. Mary, a Fiction, she would call it."

Yet even as she disdains her aristocratic employers, she can't help but be drawn into their drama. And with a sympathetic heart and a passion for justice, she gets drawn into the poor tenants' lives, too. When a member of the Kingsborough family is murdered and the handsome, rebellious tenant Liam is accused and forced to flee, thus threatening the livelihood of his family, Mary takes action. And there's never a dull moment with Mary, for Mary's not entirely grounded in reality. A daydreamer with a vivid imagination, Mary gets a little carried away. She creates a romantic fantasy in her mind and becomes determined to reveal the identity of the true killer and earn Liam's undying love and gratitude in the process.

There are suspects galore: the Master, the Mistress, the land agent and his wife, a poet, a former governess, jilted lovers, angry peasants, etc. And as in all good whodunits, none of them are guilt-free, all of them having had a part to play in the events leading up to the murder, if not the actual murder itself.

This was a sharp and sassy little romp and I look forward to reading more of Mary's adventures, the next of which is already in the works. The author provides some good background information on this fascinating woman and I can't wait to read about some of the more pivotal events in her life. Until then, I leave you with one of my favorite Mary quotes from Midnight Fires:

"Mary vowed once again to remain a spinster. Babies and books were not a good mix."

5-0 out of 5 stars Midnight Fires: A Trip to 18th Century Ireland
I read Midnight Fires almost non-stop and found it a remarkable read. Nancy Means Wright's protagonist, Mary, surely is spunky, outspoken, and a woman of remarkable character. It is understandable how Mary's brief time as governess to the aristocratic Kingsborough children could alter how they lived their adult lives--at least some of them. I'm glad the author included the historical facts about what happened to the Kingsborough children afterwards.

How well the author has incorporated the historical material in this mystery. I think Wright really conveyed the tensions between the Catholic Irish and the English overlords--and made it clear social relations in 18th century Ireland were far more complicated than Irish Catholic versus English Protestant.

The author has mastered a lot of historical material and presents the texture of life as it was lived. The plot is compelling. The novel is a tour de force.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterful and entertaining historical whodunit
Nancy Means Wright lives in Middlebury, Vermont. She is a teacher of many years, and has authored eight mysteries; seven non-mysteries; short stories; and poems. Her work has appeared in magazines and anthologies. She has written a collection of poems in the person of Mary Wollstonecraft. Her awards include a Bread Loaf Scholarship and an Agatha Award and nominee for two children's mysteries.

Mary Wollstonecraft needs to earn her living, so she accepts a post as a governess in Mitchelstown Castle with the infamous Kingsborough family. On the crossing from Holyhead to Dublin she witnesses the apparent murder of an Irish man named Sean Toomey, who was a sailor on her ship, but not until he thrust a packet in her hand to deliver to a man named Liam:

"The ship lurched and threw her against him; he gripped her shoulders and helped her to grasp the ladder. She squinted down at the letter. FOR LIAM. 'Liam who? Where does he live?' Mary called to the fellow, who had already turned away.

'I'm only going to Mitchelstown, I said. Mitchelstown,' she shouted over the screech of sails, the howl of wind, the hallooing seamen. In tiny letters at the bottom of the letter she saw it was to be delivered to a Liam in Mitchelstown-the reason, perhaps, for his pursuing the conversation. 'Wait! You must find someone else to deliver it,'

Holding on to her hat with one hand, the rigging with the other, she reeled about to find him. He was nowhere in sight. She was sorry now that she had told him her destination. If she could not find a Liam, so be it. She thrust the letter into the pocket of her greatcoat."

MIDNIGHT FIRES just reels with mystery and intrigue, from the first page. It is a historical mystery, and Mary Wollstonecraft is the same Eighteenth century woman who was far ahead of her time with her views of marriage; childrearing; and women's rights. She is also the mother of Mary Shelley, who wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This is a masterful and entertaining historical whodunit.

Shelley Glodowski
Senior Reviewer

4-0 out of 5 stars More twists and turns than a rollercoaster
In Midnight Fires Nancy Means Wright plunges the reader into the midst of late 18th century Ireland.The novel seethes with the tensions between the landed English aristocracy and Irish freedom fighters, not to mention the intrigue on a personal level both within and outside of the lordly castle. Mary Wollenstonecraft comes to Ireland to serve as governess to the Lord Kingsborough's family.Just before the ship docks Mary meets an Irish sailor who thrusts a letter into her hands and immediately after falls from the rigging of the ship.Soon after she arrives at the castle she attends a bonfire on Samhain Eve, a pagan celebration on October 31 that celebrates the end of summer.Someone stabs an illegitimate descendent of nobility, and Mary decides to clear the chief suspect, an Irish freedom fighter named Liam Donovan.The pace Wright sets is almost breathtaking.
Wright draws Mary's fictionalized character with enthusiasm and verve.The plot has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster with just as much excitement.Wright convincingly portrays the historical background with sensory detail.If you love historical mysteries, you will enjoy this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars terrific Georgian mystery
In 1786 Mary Wollstonecraft assumes life for her could not get any lower as she accepts humiliating work in County Cork, Ireland as a governess to the daughters of Lord and Lady Kingsboroug.Still, one must eat aand single women have few options.Thus Mary plans to make the best of her stay atMitchelstown Castle.

Mary has given herself two rules to abide by.First she plans to write a novel.Second and foremost she is determined to stay out of the castle political squabbles.However, her resolve vanishes with the deaths of a sailor, the former governess, and an aristocrat.She believes a serial killer is on the loose and investigates seeking the link only to find several people with motives, but none with reasoning to kill the trio.

This is a terrific Georgian mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft starring as an amateur sleuth.Her investigation is clever as it enhances the overall theme of class and gender differences.Mary is the perfect guide for readers to look at the great divides in the late eighteenth century Ireland as she will one day soon write her famous manifesto.Nancy Means Wright provides an excellent historical mystery starring a superb heroine.

Harriet Klausner
... Read more

15. Proserpine and Midas
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Paperback: 56 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 1153741490
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Mythology, Classical; Proserpina (Roman deity); Midas (Legendary character); Drama / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh; Drama / General; Drama / General; Drama / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh; ... Read more

16. Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism)
by Barbara Taylor
 Hardcover: 352 Pages (2003-04-28)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$57.00
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Asin: 0521661447
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In the two centuries since Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), she has become western feminism's leading icon, a stature that has obscured her actual historic significance.Examining in detail Wollstonecraft's writings, Barbara Taylor provides an alternative reading of her as a writer steeped in the utopianism of Britain's radical Enlightenment.Her feminist principles are shown to have arisen within a revolutionary program for universal equality and moral perfection that reached its zenith during the political upheavals of the 1790s but had its roots in the radical-Protestant Enlightenment. Locating Wollstonecraft within her literary and political milieus, and tracing the relationship between her feminist radicalism and her troubled personal history, the book draws a compelling portrait of this fascinating and profoundly influential thinker. Barbara Taylor, a reader in History in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of East London, is an intellectual and cultural historian specializing in the history of feminism from 1750-1850.Her first book, Eve and the New Jerusalem: Socialism and Feminism in the Nineteenth Century (Pantheon, 1983) is a study of the feminist dimension of British Utopian Socialism.It was published to widespread acclaim and she has been awarded many research grants, including fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, the British Academy and the Guggenheim Foundation. ... Read more

17. Mary A Fiction
by Mary Wollstonecraft
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKSNPK
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

18. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text (Oxford World's Classics)
by Mary Shelley
Paperback: 328 Pages (2009-05-01)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199537151
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Shelley's enduringly popular and rich gothic tale confronts some of the most feared innovations of evolutionism and science--topics such as degeneracy, hereditary disease, and humankind's ability to act as creator of the modern world.This new edition, based on the harder and wittier 1818 version of the text, draws on new research and examines the novel in the context of the controversial radical sciences developing in the years following the Napoleonic Wars, and shows the relationship of Frankenstein's experiment to the contemporary debate between champions of materialistic science and proponents of received religion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A relevent and horrifying classic novel
Victor Frankenstein was a precocious child, inspired by and obsessed with the scientists of the past. In university, he continues his obsession, which culminates in the creation of a man made of corpses. As the creature awakens, Victor is horrified and disgusted and runs away. He becomes stricken with illness shortly afterwards and his childhood friend, Henry Clerval, helps nurse him back to health. After four months, Victor finally recovers, only to find that his little brother, William, has been murdered. Sure that the fiend he created is responsible, Victor returns to his home. The tormented creature eventually reveals himself to his furious creator and relays the events leading to William's murder. After his heart-rending story, he begs his creator to make a woman for him who will accept him and become his mate. Victor agrees, but has second thoughts. Should he create another monster like the one already in existence? If he decides against this second blasphemy, what repercussions will he and his family have to endure?

Mary Shelley's classic novel Frankenstein is an iconic work that has spawned countless spin-offs, sequels, remakes, copies, and re-imaginings. It's hardly surprising considering the eloquence and skill that she exhibits. With all the allusions and references to literature and works of science, she shows her vast education, which is even surprising today for an eighteen year old. I absolutely love this book, but I used to hate it. I remember reading it as a child and finding it boring and hard to understand. As an adult, I see the different philosophies being illustrated and the significance of its place in the romantic era. It explores themes such as the nature of man, the effect of isolation verses society on man, and the ethics of science. These are themes that science fiction authors are still writing about today, as seen in the film Splice, Scott Sigler's novel Ancestor, and countless others. This is really the epitome of the gothic novel, which conveys its messages with a dose of horror and suspense.

The characters and their development is really what makes Frankenstein special. I can see the suffering and anger on both Victor's and the creature's side. Victor is a good person who got swept up in his fervor for science without thinking about the consequences. After making the creature, he tries to move forward with his life, but his past follows him. The creature, on the other hand, is actually a sympathetic character. Far from the shuffling, silent monster seen in film, he exhibits great intelligence and is shown to be inherently good. After being consistently rejected and abused by man, he turns to violence and really only to mimic how people have always treated him. He only ever desired to be loved and accepted. I tend to side more with the monster because he was created and then immediately abandoned with no instruction on how to act or survive in the human world. I find the fact that Victor finds this acceptable and proceeds to further antagonize his creation reprehensible.

I could probably go on and on about how Frankenstein is one of the best books ever written, so I'll stop here. This work is still relevant today and can both horrify and interest modern audiences. I think everyone should read this book at least once.

3-0 out of 5 stars ugliest frankenstein's monster i've ever seen
so yeah this is the ugliest/ creepiest version of frankenstein's monster i've ever seen on the cover of a book. but the plus is it's the 1818 text (the first edition, more "raw") if you need to read that version. if not, i'd opt for another version (the one from the 1830s) because the cover really bothers me- i had to put a post-it over the face

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book ever written!
This is by far the best book I've ever read. What intrigued me the most was Shelley's style. Her language puts you in mood that I cannot easily put to words. Only three other authors have books similar to this: Rudyard Kipling ("The Man Who Would be King"), David Anthony Durham ("Acacia"), and Anthony Nana Kwamu ("Timbuktu Chronicles: Aida and the Chosen Soldier"). "Frankenstein" (the 1818 text) is just breathtaking! Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Book
Loved this book.I can't believe that Mary Shelley wrote it as a teenager.The language is so flowery and she commands it so well.Books aren't written like this anymore.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile
I just finished reading Frankenstein (first time I've read it). I was surprised that I actually liked it! I imagined it would be dull. The story moved along at a good pace. I especially liked how much emotion was expressed by the characters, and the parallels that can be drawn from Frankenstein's creation that haunts him and things we create in our own lives that may do the same. ... Read more

19. Revolutionary Feminism: The Mind and Career of Mary Wollstonecraft
by Gary Kelly
Paperback: 264 Pages (1996-01-15)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$23.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312129041
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Editorial Review

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Describing the growth of Wollstonecraft's mind and career, this acclaimed study scrutinises all her writings as experiments in revolutionising writing in terms of her revolutionary feminism.
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20. Mary and The Wrongs of Woman (Oxford World's Classics)
by Mary Wollstonecraft
Paperback: 256 Pages (2009-04-15)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199538905
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

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Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for her pioneering views on the rights of women to share equal rights and opportunities with men. They are expressed here in two novels in which heroines have to rely on their own resources to establish their independence and intellectual development. Strongly autobiographical, both novels powerfully complement Wollstonecraft's non-fictional writing, inspired by the French Revolution and the social upheavals that followed.
New to this edition is a completely rewritten introduction that incorporates the latest scholarship and features a consideration of the social formation of Wollstonecraft as a Revolutionary feminist and her literary-political career, as well as a critical account of the two novels. A new bibliography includes all the latest critical writing on Wollstonecraft, while heavily revised notes link her fiction to her extensive reading, her other writings and major events and issues of the day. In addition, the text has been completely reset, making it easier on the eyes. It is by far the highest quality edition available, and a great choice for readers interested in pre-Victorian literature and feminist history. ... Read more

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