79 pages 2 hours read

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1792

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Teacher Introduction

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

  • Genre: Nonfiction; Feminist literature; philosophy
  • Originally Published: 1792
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 1420L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: Divided into 13 chapters with a dedication and introduction; approx. 162 pages; approx. 8 hours and 44 minutes on audiobook
  • Central Concern: Mary Wollstonecraft’s seminal work advocates a societal restructuring that would offer women equity with men in various areas of life, particularly in education. Wollstonecraft contends that many supposedly inferior traits in women are not inherent but are created by social expectations and women’s lack of access to education. The text is a critical response to prevailing notions of the time that justified women’s subordination based on their supposed innate inferiority.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Historical context of women’s rights; discussions of gender roles and societal expectations; critiques of 18th-century societal norms

Mary Wollstonecraft, Author

  • Bio: Born 1759; died 1797; English writer, philosopher, and advocate for women's rights; regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers; mother of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein
  • Other Works: Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787); Mary: A Fiction (1788); Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796) and more

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • Gender Inequality and Sexual Difference
  • The Tyranny of Power and the Prevalence of Hierarchies
  • Misconceived Ideas of Virtue and Morality
  • Formal and Informal Education

Related Titles

By Mary Wollstonecraft

Study Guide


Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman

Mary Wollstonecraft

Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman

Mary Wollstonecraft