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Introduction

Mary Wollstonecraft and Eighteenth-Century Political Economy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2024

Catherine Packham
Affiliation:
University of Sussex
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Summary

When Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) was first published, it was categorised in Joseph Johnson’s Analytical Review as a work of political economy. The introduction asks what this term meant for Wollstonecraft and her contemporaries, and argues that it was used to understand the nature and operation of modern commercial society, as well as the potential for its reformation. Wollstonecraft’s relation to this project is explored, both through a survey of her engagement with Adam Smith and through her lived experience as an unmarried, often indebted woman in a society organised around possession of property. Wollstonecraft is presented as a writer engaging throughout her career as a critic of the connected material, economic, moral, psychological, and social conditions of modern commercial contemporaneity, and as anticipating the opposition to political economy of later Romantic writers.

Type
Chapter
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Mary Wollstonecraft and Political Economy
The Feminist Critique of Commercial Modernity
, pp. 1 - 24
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Introduction
  • Catherine Packham, University of Sussex
  • Book: Mary Wollstonecraft and Political Economy
  • Online publication: 15 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009395823.001
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  • Introduction
  • Catherine Packham, University of Sussex
  • Book: Mary Wollstonecraft and Political Economy
  • Online publication: 15 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009395823.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Catherine Packham, University of Sussex
  • Book: Mary Wollstonecraft and Political Economy
  • Online publication: 15 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009395823.001
Available formats
×