Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This (lowercase (translateProductType product.productType)) has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Logan, Barbara Ellen 2016. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. p. 1.

    Koretsky, Deanna P. 2015. “Unhallowed arts”:Frankensteinand the Poetics of Suicide. European Romantic Review, Vol. 26, Issue. 2, p. 241.

    Hemmings, Clare 2013. Considering Emma. European Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 20, Issue. 4, p. 334.

    Batchelor, Jennie and Kaplan, Cora 2005. British Women’s Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century. p. 1.

    Botting, Eileen Hunt and Carey, Christine 2004. Wollstonecraft's Philosophical Impact on Nineteenth-Century American Women's Rights Advocates. American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 48, Issue. 4, p. 707.

  • Print publication year: 2002
  • Online publication date: May 2006

14 - Mary Wollstonecraft's reception and legacies


Virginia Woolf, in 1929, described Mary Wollstonecraft's remarkable “form of immortality” through the memorable conceit that “she is alive and active, she argues and experiments, we hear her voice and trace her influence even now among the living.” A strong sense of unfinished business hovers about Wollstonecraft's legacy – the effects of a life cut short and a political agenda not yet met, but also of something less straightforward, emanating from the combined – but disjunctive – force of her life and work as well as yoked with the seductive fiction that revolution and romance have some natural and dangerously volatile affinity. For “even now,” at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Woolf's perception of an embodied, social and affective presence – “alive . . . among the living” – captures what has proved most enduring but also most troubling about Wollstonecraft's reception, the aura of unreconciled emotion that hovers around her shifting reputation. Wollstonecraft remains an ambiguous symbol both of feminism and of femininity, her significance disputed most strongly by the diverse western feminisms of the last quarter of the twentieth century which have made her and her feminist peers living and legible in her own time and in theirs. Their disagreements have been productive as well as divisive; it is to the credit of Wollstonecraft's interpreters that she remains a restive presence, who cannot be easily framed or honorably laid to rest as the distinguished foremother of modern feminism.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Online ISBN: 9780511998812
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *