A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft HQ1596 .W6 1792bx (1792); HQ1596 .W6 1796x (1796)
A Vindication of the Rights of Women, published in 1792, is a feminist work calling for the equal education of men and women. Author Mary Wollstonecraft posits that girls are intentionally trained to become frivolous and dependent women. Allowed the same education as boys, she argues, they would not only grow into capable wives and mothers, but become skilled contributors to society. While Vindication sparked debate across Europe, it failed to generate meaningful reform. Fifty years later, American women’s rights activists including Elizabeth Cady Stanton drew inspiration from Wollstonecraft’s advocacy.
Nellie Wilcox Diary / COU: 4441
1874 was a year of change for 16-year-old Nellie Wilcox. Her diary documents her transition from life on the family farm to attendance at the prestigious Morgan School in Clinton, Connecticut. Education and the opportunities it offered were of great importance to Nellie. In the spring, she consistently recorded which of her siblings attended the local country school for the day and who stayed home due to illness or farm chores. In recording her experiences at the Morgan School that fall, she meticulously documented her own progress in courses including Latin, rhetoric, algebra, and music. On November 21, 1874, Nellie notes her enjoyment of Jane Eyre, a novel notable for its independent heroine.
“I have been reading Jane Eyre one of Charlotte Bronte’s books which was taken from the Morgan library. I have not finished it yet but think it is splendid."