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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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Modern Philosophers

Modern Philosophers

(p.182) 6 Modern Philosophers
Love in the Time of Revolution

Andrew Cayton

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter delves into the serious reservations regarding the choices Wollstonecraft, Imlay, and Godwin made, which often co-existed with admiration for their willingness to make choices. After all, Mary Hays argued, revolution was a long-term affair that depended on exceptional individuals risking everything to promote reform. “Vigorous minds” were animated by “a liberal curiosity” that “urges them to quit beaten paths, to explore untried ways, to burst the fetters of prescription, and to acquire wisdom by an individual experience.” In the end, Hays argued, “all great changes and improvements in society” originated with “speculative and enterprising spirits.” Wollstonecraft's ambition had been “the emancipation of her own sex,” and that cause would not die because she had violated social convention.

Keywords:   reform, social convention, Wollstonecraft, Imlay, Godwin

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