We are delighted to have welcomed a new addition to our collections this week, following our Autumn fundraising campaign.
Mary Wollstonecraft’s Posthumous Works arrived safely with us, along with her translation of Jacques Necker: On The Importance Of Religious Opinions. Below, Deputy Director Kim Simpson shows some of the early editions of Wollstonecraft already in the collection, and unwraps the new arrivals:
Part of the Wollstonecraft campaign involved putting together our very first (and very international) Chawton House audiobook of Wollstonecraft’s unfinished novel Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman.
Wollstonecraft’s radical and troubling novel explores the oppression faced by women across the spectrum of social class. It opens in a private asylum, where the heroine, Maria, has been imprisoned by her libertine husband George Venables. Whilst incarcerated, Maria befriends her attendant, Jemima, who shares her tragic history. Maria also begins to fall in love with another inmate, Henry Darnford and the pair bond over a shared love of reading. At the same time, Maria narrates her own tragic story for her infant daughter, who has been taken by her husband. These three intertwined tales build towards an ending that Wollstonecraft was unable to draft in full, her life cut short by the birth of her second daughter, Mary.
Twenty-seven readers from around the world help to bring this story to life, and it is now freely available to all on our YouTube channel.
We are extremely grateful to all who donated to this campaign, and look forward to sharing the new acquisitions with scholars and audiences on site and online in the future.