Letters to Imlay

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C. Kegan Paul, 1879 - Authors, English - 207 pages
These private correspondences of one of history's most eminent feminist thinkers reveal the intellectual and social climate of late 18th century England, and provide a personal look at Wollstonecraft.
 

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Page 25 - Amongst the feathered race, whilst the hen keeps the young warm, her mate stays by to cheer her; but it is sufficient for man to condescend to get a child, in order to claim it. - A man is a tyrant!
Page xxvi - Contending for the rights of woman, my main argument is built on this simple principle, that if she be not prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowledge and virtue; for truth must be common to all, or it will be inefficacious with respect to its influence on general practice.
Page 24 - Considering the care and anxiety a woman must have about a child before it comes into the world, it seems to me, by a natural right, to belong to her.
Page 8 - I think there is sometimes a shorter cut to yours. 'With ninety-nine men out of a hundred, a very sufficient dash of folly is necessary to render a woman piquante, a soft word for desirable; and, beyond these casual ebullitions of sympathy, few look for enjoyment by fostering a passion in their hearts. One reason, in short, why I wish my whole sex to become wiser, is, that the foolish ones may not, by their pretty folly, rob those whose sensibility keeps down their vanity, of the few roses that afford...
Page 2 - You can scarcely imagine with what pleasure I anticipate the day, when we are to begin almost to live together ; and you would smile to hear how many plans of employment I have in my head, now that I am confident my heart has found peace in your bosom.
Page xxix - Let woman share the rights and she will emulate the virtues of man; for she must grow more perfect when emancipated, or justify the authority that chains such a weak being to her duty.
Page 186 - I shall make no comments on your conduct or any appeal to the world. Let my wrongs sleep with me! Soon, very soon, I shall be at peace. When you receive this, my burning head will be cold.
Page li - I will do myself the pleasure of waiting on you Friday," he wrote, " and shall be happy to meet Mrs. Wollstonecraft, of whom I know not that I ever said a word of harm, and who has frequently amused herself with depreciating me.
Page 85 - I consider fidelity and constancy as two distinct things; yet the former is necessary to give life to the other, and such a degree of respect do I think due to myself, that, if only probity, which is a good thing in its place, brings you back, never return...
Page 59 - I could prove to you in a trice that it is the mother of sentiment, the great distinction of our nature, the only purifier of the passions — animals have a portion of reason, and equal, if not more exquisite, senses; but no trace of imagination, or her offspring taste, appears in any of their actions. The impulse of the senses, passions, if you will, and the conclusions of reason, draw men together; but the imagination is the true fire, stolen from heaven, to animate this cold creature of clay,...

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