Richard Reeves, director of the think tank Demos, updates Mary Wollstonecraft on how her ideas about republicanism have, or have not, advanced in Britain in 250 years.
Series in which three writers send an informal letter to the influential British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, 250 years after her birth, updating her on the progress of her often radical ideas.
Richard Reeves, director of the independent think tank Demos, updates Mary on how her ideas about republicanism have - or have not - advanced in Britain in the 250 years since her birth.
Although generally thought of as a feminist, Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Men is a political pamphlet attacking aristocracy and advocating republicanism. It proved to be the first salvo in a pamphlet war, responding to Burke's defence of constitutional monarchy, aristocracy and the Church of England. In the pamphlet she attacked not only hereditary privilege but also the language used by Burke to defend it. Perhaps most significantly and originally, she criticised Burke's justification of an unequal society founded on the passivity of women.