Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798) is a novel by English writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Intended as a fictional sequel to A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), a groundbreaking work of feminism and political philosophy, Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman was published posthumously by Wollstonecraft's husband, anarchist philosopher and writer William Godwin.
Denied her autonomy, Maria is sent to an insane asylum by her husband, a wealthy aristocrat. Separated from her child and unable to advocate on her own behalf, Maria is fortunate to befriend Jemima, an attendant from the lower classes who empathizes with Maria's situation. Jemima secretly provides her with books, inadvertently introducing her to the marginalia of Henry Darnford, another inmate at the asylum. The three grow close, sharing their stories with one another. Darnford reveals his troubled past and struggles with alcohol, Jemima discloses her experiences as an abused orphan-turned-prostitute, and Maria discusses her abusive marriage to George Venables. As she turned toward literature and intellectual life to avoid George's affairs and frequent gambling, Maria found herself desperately looking for a way out. After several escape attempts, George--who had been scheming for years to frame his wife in order to divorce her--conspires to send her to the asylum, taking their child and cutting off contact with Maria. Although unfinished, Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman explores the themes of her political and philosophical writings while illuminating the injustices suffered by women and lower class individuals in English society.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman is a classic of English literature reimagined for modern readers.