In this stunning new biography of the eighteenth-century writer Mary Wollstonecraft, Lyndall Gordon explores the life of a woman often criticised by biographers, historians and feminists alike. Gordon challenges such slanders, and portrays instead the genius of this extraordinary woman. The two-generation approach to her life examines not only Wollstonecraft herself, but also her effect on her daughters and heirs (Mary Shelley, Fanny Imlay, Claire Clairmont and Margaret Mount Cashell), and the ways in which they carried her influence into subsequent generations.
Gordon takes stock of Wollstonecraft's life in accord with her own values rather than through the reputation history has given her. The author looks at her important relationships with Gilbert Imlay and William Godwin, and her ideas about issues such as the problems of communication between the sexes and parenthood.
First published 2005.
'Lyndall Gordon is a rare phenomenon; a biographer whose preoccupations and authorial career reveal a flowering towards imaginative truth. This great biography is a biography of a time, a spirit, a way of thinking, that is brave, intelligent, radical, independent and unless we are all soon for the dark, immortal' Candia McWilliam, Herald Gordon's moving tribute brings alive the depth and complexity of the woman, and the intellectual debt that generations of Wollstonecraft's political daughters owe her to this day.' Melissa Benn - The Independent 'Gordon's biographical method is excitin
Author of the prizewinning biographies ELIOT'S EARLY YEARS, ELIOT'S NEW LIFE and VIRGINIA WOOLF: A WRITER'S LIFE. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Lyndall received her doctorate from Columbia University and is a fellow of St Hilda's College, Ox