Maria; Or, The Wrongs of Woman

Mary Wollstonecraft

Maria; Or, The Wrongs of Woman, by Mary Wollstonecraft - click to see full size image

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Maria; Or, The Wrongs of Woman is an unfinished novel by British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, first published posthumously in 1798 by her husband William Godwin. The book is a sequel to her political treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. The story follows Maria, a young woman who is trapped in an unhappy marriage to her controlling and abusive husband, George Venables. After she tries to leave, he takes away her child and condemns her to an insane asylum. There she befriends Jemima, an attendant, who has her own horrific story to tell. Whilst imprisoned, Maria relates her story in a narrative to her daughter. Through Maria's experiences and interactions with other characters, Wollstonecraft critiques the injustices and constraints faced by women in society. Although the novel remains unfinished due to Wollstonecraft's death, it is considered an important work in feminist literature for its exploration of women's rights and its portrayal of the challenges faced by women in the 18th century. Simultaneously released with Godwin's Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Maria received harsh criticism by those who saw Wollstonecraft's own life, with an illegitimate child and her love affairs, as immoral, and transferred that over to the book, therefore seeing Maria's 'wrongs' as personal instead of political, failing to grasp the author's point entirely.

This book has 45,363 words, 76 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1798.

Production notes: This ebook of Maria; Or, The Wrongs of Woman was published by Global Grey on the 12th March 2024. The artwork used for the cover is 'The Countess of Darnley and her Daughter, Lady Elizabeth Bligh' by John Hoppner.

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