• Barbara Taylor


Modern readers of Mary Wollstonecraft are often surprised by her piety. ‘In treating … of the manners of women,’ Wollstonecraft writes in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), ‘let us, disregarding sensual arguments, trace what we should endeavour to make them in order to co-operate … with the Supreme Being’:1

… for … if they be really capable of acting like rational creatures, let them not be treated like slaves; or, like the brutes who are dependent on the reason of man, when they associate with him; but cultivate their minds, give them the salutary sublime curb of principle, and let them attain conscious dignity by feeling themselves only dependent on God.2


Modern Reader Feminist Imagination Godly Life American Historical Review Biblical Criticism 
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  1. 1.
    Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, M. Butler and J. Todd, eds, The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft (London: Pickering and Chatto, 1989), vol. 5, p. 90.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Jonathan Sheehan, ‘Enlightenment, Religion, and the Enigma of Secularisation’, American Historical Review, vol. 108, issue 4, Oct. 2003, p. 1062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 8.
    Patricia Crawford, Women and Religion in England, ([0-9]+)–([0-9]+) (London: Routledge, 1993), p. 10.Google Scholar

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© Barbara Taylor 2005

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  • Barbara Taylor

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