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Love in the Time of RevolutionTransatlantic Literary Radicalism and Historical Change, 1793-1818$
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Andrew Cayton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781469607504

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469607511_Cayton

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A “Very Sensible” American

A “Very Sensible” American

(p.54) 2 A “Very Sensible” American
Love in the Time of Revolution

Andrew Cayton

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes Mary Wollstonecraft's high spirits during late April. She was a woman consumed with hope, bursting with energy. She was a woman in love. It was a feeling she knew; it had happened before, after all. What was novel was the strange sensation created by the knowledge that the feeling was mutual. For the first time in her life, she was experiencing the love of someone she loved. This time, she wanted and she was wanted. This time, she found someone necessary to her happiness and he found her necessary to his. A liberated Wollstonecraft accepted the existence of something she had begun to doubt she would ever know. Her “love was unbounded,” recalled William Godwin, and “for the first time in her life she gave a loose to all the sensibilities of her nature.” She had found a companion as well as a lover.

Keywords:   Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, companion, lover

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