Nicole Kidman

Nicole Mary Kidman, AC (born 20 June 1967) is an Academy Award-winning Australian[1] A-list actress. In 2006, she became the highest paid actress in the film industry.[2] In the same year, Kidman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour.[3]

After making various appearances in film and television, Kidman received her breakthrough role in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm. Since then, Kidman's acting career has developed greatly. Her performances in several films, such as To Die For (1995), Moulin Rouge! (2001), and The Hours (2002), have won her not only critical acclaim but also many film awards. In 2003, Kidman received her Star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. Kidman is also a UNIFEM and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a singer and a successful recording artist.

She is also well-known for her former high-profile marriage to Tom Cruise, as well as her current marriage to singer Keith Urban. Because she was born to Australian parents in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kidman has dual citizenship of Australia and the United States. In January 2008, she announced that she is pregnant with her first biological child, with husband Keith Urban.

Early life and family
Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Janelle Ann (née MacNeille), a nursing instructor who edits her husband's books and was a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, and Dr. Anthony David Kidman, a biochemist, clinical psychologist and author, with an office in Lane Cove, Sydney.[4][5] At the time of Nicole Kidman's birth, her father was a visiting fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington, D.C. The family returned to Australia when Kidman was four years old, when her father took on a lectureship at the University of Technology, Sydney[citation needed]. Kidman's parents now reside in Sydney's North Shore.

She started taking ballet lessons when she was four. She attended Lane Cove Public School in her primary years and later attended North Sydney Girls' High School. While living in Longueville, she attended St Mary's Cathedral College,[citation needed] but dropped out when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; Kidman concentrated on her family responsibilities until her mother's recovery. She then trained at the Phillip Street Theatre, where she majored in voice production and theatre history.[citation needed] This led to studies at Sydney's Australian Theatre for Young People (of which she is now a patron).

She has a younger sister, Antonia Kidman who is a journalist.

[edit] Career

[edit] Early career in Australia (1983–1989)
Kidman's first appearance in film came in 1983 when, as a fifteen year-old, she appeared in the Pat Wilson music video for the song Bop Girl. By the end of the year she had secured a supporting role in the television series Five Mile Creek and four film roles, including BMX Bandits and Bush Christmas. During the 1980s, she appeared in several Australian movies and TV series, notably including the soap opera A Country Practice, the mini-series Vietnam (1986), Emerald City (1988), and Bangkok Hilton (1989).

In 1982, she might have appeared in the video for Roxy Music's song "True To Life".[citation needed]

[edit] Breakthrough (1989–1995)
In 1989, Kidman starred in the thriller film Dead Calm as Rae Ingram, the wife of naval officer John Ingram (Sam Neill), held captive on a Pacific Ocean yacht trip by the psychotic Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane). The thriller film received generally positive reviews; the staff of commented: "Throughout the film, Kidman is excellent. She gives the character of Rae real tenacity and energy."[6] Meanwhile, critic Roger Ebert noted the excellent chemistry between the leads, stating, "...Kidman and Zane do generate real, palpable hatred in their scenes together."[7] In 1990, she appeared opposite Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, a stock car racing movie. After this, Kidman starred with Cruise in Ron Howard's Far and Away (1992). In 1995, Kidman featured in the ensemble cast of Batman Forever. On November 20, 1993 she hosted Saturday Night Live.[8]

[edit] Critical success (1995–present)
Her second film in 1995, To Die For was a satirical comedy that earned her praise[citation needed] from critics. She won a Golden Globe Award, and five other best actress awards for her portrayal of the murderous newscaster Suzanne Stone Maretto. Kidman and Cruise portrayed a married couple in Eyes Wide Shut in 1999, Stanley Kubrick's final film.

In 2002, Kidman received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 2001 musical film Moulin Rouge!, in which she played the courtesan Satine opposite Ewan McGregor. Consequently, Kidman received her second Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The same year, she had a well-received starring role in the horror film The Others. While in Australia filming Moulin Rouge!, Kidman injured her knee; as a result, Jodie Foster had to replace her as leading actress in the film Panic Room. In that film, Kidman's voice appears on the phone, as the mistress of the lead character's husband.

The following year, Kidman won critical praise for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, in which the prosthetics applied to her made her almost unrecognizable. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, along with a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA, and numerous critics awards. Kidman became the first Australian actress to win an Academy Award. During her Academy Award acceptance speech, after tearing, Kidman made a statement about the importance of art, even during times of war: "Why do you come to the Academy Awards when the world is in such turmoil? Because art is important. And because you believe in what you do and you want to honor that, and it is a tradition that needs to be upheld."[9]

In the same year, Kidman starred in three very different films. Dogville, by Danish director Lars von Trier, an experimental film set on a bare soundstage. Secondly, she co-starred alongside Anthony Hopkins in the film adaptation of Philip Roth's novel The Human Stain. Cold Mountain, a love story of two Southerners separated by the Civil War, was her final release that year, and garnered her a Golden Globe Award nomination.

In 2004, Kidman appeared in the critically panned[citation needed] remake of The Stepford Wives alongside Glenn Close, Faith Hill and Bette Midler. In September of the same year, Birth, in which the 37-year-old actress' character has an encounter with a 10-year-old boy (played by Cameron Bright) who attempts to convince her that he is a reincarnation of her dead husband, was met with a mixed reception primarily due to a scene where the boy strips and joins Kidman in the bathtub.[citation needed] Despite this, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, and Kidman was nominated for another Golden Globe Award. Kidman's two movies in 2005 were The Interpreter, directed by Sydney Pollack, the film received mixed reviews, though it did become a considerable success at the box office grossing nearly $165 million worldwide, with its $80 million budget, and Bewitched, co-starring Will Ferrell, based on the 1960s TV sitcom of the same name; the latter fared abysmally with critics and made only $131,413,159, with a budget of 80 million at box office.

In conjunction with her success in the film industry, Kidman became the face of the Chanel No. 5 perfume brand. She starred in a campaign of television and print ads with Rodrigo Santoro, directed by Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann to promote the fragrance during the holiday season in 2004, 2005, and 2006. The three-minute commercial produced for Chanel No. 5 perfume made Kidman the record holder for the most money paid per minute to an actor after she reportedly earned $US3.71 million.[10] During this time, Kidman was also listed as the 45th Most Powerful Celebrity on the 2005 Forbes Celebrity 100 List. She made a reported US$14.5 million in 2004-2005. On People magazine's list of 2005's highest paid actresses, Kidman was second behind Julia Roberts with a US$16 million to US$17 million per-film price tag.[11] She has since passed Roberts as the highest paid actress.

Recently, Kidman appeared in the Diane Arbus bio-pic Fur, she also lent her voice to the animated film Happy Feet, which quickly garnered critical and commercial success, the film grossed over $384 million dollars worldwide. In 2007, she starred in the science fiction movie The Invasion, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, and played opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black in Noah Baumbach's comedy-drama Margot at the Wedding. She also starred in the film adaptation of the first part of the planned His Dark Materials trilogy of films, playing the villainous Mrs. Coulter. However, The Golden Compass''s failure to meet expectations at the North American box office has reduced the likelihood of a sequel.[12]

She is also set to star in director Wong Kar-wai's next film, The Lady from Shanghai and Baz Luhrmann's Australian period film titled Australia, which is set in the remote Northern Territory during the Japanese attack on Darwin during World War II. Kidman will play an English woman feeling overwhelmed by the continent, opposite Hugh Jackman.

On 25 June 2007, Nintendo announced that Kidman is to be the new face of Nintendo's advertising campaign for the Nintendo DS game More Brain Training in its European market.[13]

Kidman was featured in a series of advertisements for Sky in Italy, speaking Italian during the spots.

It is reported that Kidman will star and produce in an upcoming romantic comedy film called Monte Carlo. She plays one member of a trio of school teachers on holiday who cut short their no-frills sojourn in Paris and head to Monte Carlo, where they pose as wealthy vacationers.[14]

Kidman was originally set to star in The Reader (film) a post-war Germany drama, but due to her pregnancy she had to back out of the film. [15] Shortly after the news of Kidman's departure, it was announced that Kate Winslet would take over the role. [16]

[edit] Singing

Nicole Kidman and Robbie Williams in the "Somethin' Stupid" music videoNot known as a singer prior to Moulin Rouge!, Kidman had several well-received vocal performances in the film. Her collaboration with Ewan McGregor on the song "Come What May" from the film's soundtrack debuted and peaked at 27 in the UK Singles Chart. Later she collaborated with Robbie Williams on the song "Somethin' Stupid", a cover of the old swing song on Williams' swing covers album Swing When You're Winning. It debuted and peaked at 8 in the Australian ARIAnet Singles Chart, and at number 1 for three weeks in the UK. It was the UK Christmas number 1 Single for 2001.

In 2006, she provided her voice for the animated movie Happy Feet, along with her vocals for her character Norma Jean's 'heartsong', which was a slightly altered version of "Kiss" by Prince.

[edit] Personal life

[edit] Relationships
Kidman met Tom Cruise on the set of their 1990 movie, Days of Thunder. Cruise was married to actress Mimi Rogers at the time, and later divorced her. Kidman and Cruise were married on Christmas Eve 1990 in Telluride, Colorado. The couple adopted two children, daughter Isabella Jane Cruise (b. December 22, 1992) and son Connor Anthony Cruise (b. January 17, 1995), and lived in Los Angeles, Australia, Colorado, and New York City. They separated just before their 10th wedding anniversary. At the time she was 3 months pregnant and subsequently had a miscarriage.[17] Tom Cruise filed for divorce in February 2001. The marriage was dissolved in 2001, with Cruise citing irreconcilable differences as the cause of the divorce. [18] The reasons for the dissolution have never been made public. Also, in an interview for Marie Claire magazine, Kidman mentions that she had an ectopic pregnancy early in their marriage.[19] In an interview in the June 2006 issue of Ladies' Home Journal, Kidman reported that she still loved Tom Cruise. Kidman told the magazine: "He was huge; still is. To me, he was just Tom, but to everybody else, he is huge. But he was lovely to me. And I loved him. I still love him." In addition, she has expressed shock about their divorce.[18]

The 2003 film Cold Mountain was plagued by rumours that an on-set affair between Kidman and co-star Jude Law was responsible for the breakup of his marriage. Both vehemently denied the allegations, and Kidman eventually won an undisclosed sum from the British tabloids that published the story.[20] She donated the money to a Romanian orphanage in the town where the movie was filmed.[21]. There were also rumours that she and Jim Carrey were going out after the two were spotted at restaurants together, but they both denied it explaining they are just the best of friends.[22] Shortly after her Oscar win, there were unconfirmed rumours of a relationship between her and fellow Oscar winner Adrien Brody.[23] She met musician Lenny Kravitz in 2003 and dated him into 2004[24]. Nicole has recently revealed in an interview she was secretly engaged when her divorce from Tom Cruise was legalised and before she met Keith Urban. She declined to reveal who her fiance was, but considering Kravitz was her only major relationship between her two husbands, one could assume it was him. [25]

Kidman met country singer Keith Urban at G'Day LA, an event honouring Australians in January 2005. Kidman and Urban were married on Sunday June 25, 2006, at the Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in the grounds of St Patrick's Estate, Manly in Sydney. They maintain homes in Sydney and Nashville, Tennessee.

After constant speculation by the press, on January 8, 2008, it was confirmed that Kidman is 3 months pregnant and that Kidman and Urban are expecting their first child together.[26]

[edit] Religion
Kidman was raised a Catholic and currently is a practicing Catholic.[27] She attended Mary Mackillop Chapel in North Sydney. However, during her marriage to Tom Cruise, she was a follower of Scientology.[28]. She has kept private about Scientology in interviews, one time saying "I don't want to talk about it".[citation needed]

[edit] Politics
Kidman's name was included in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 2006) that condemned organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, and supported Israel's efforts in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[29]

Kidman has made numerous donations to U.S. Democratic party candidates and endorsed John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.[30]

[edit] Charitable work
Kidman publicly supports a variety of charities and causes. She has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Australia since 1994. She has worked to help raise money for and draw attention to the plight of the most disadvantaged children in Australia and around the world. In 2004, she was honoured as a "Citizen of the World" by the United Nations.

On January 26, 2006, Kidman received Australia's highest civilian honour when she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, for "service to the performing arts as an acclaimed motion picture performer, to health care through contributions to improve medical treatment for women and children and advocacy for cancer research, to youth as a principal supporter of young performing artists, and to humanitarian causes in Australia and internationally."[31] However, due to film commitments and her wedding to Urban, it wasn't until 13 April 2007 that she was presented with the honour.[32] She was also nominated goodwill ambassador for UNIFEM.[33]

Kidman joined the 'Little Tee Campaign' for Breast Cancer Care to design T-shirts or vests to raise money for breast cancer.[34] Kidman's mother, Janelle, is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 1984.[35]

[edit] Press
In January 2005, Kidman won interim restraining orders against two Sydney-based paparazzi photographers.[36]

[edit] Filmography
Year Title Role Notes
1983 BMX Bandits Judy
Bush Christmas Helen
Five Mile Creek Annie TV series
Skin Deep Sheena Henderson TV movie
Chase Through the Night Petra TV movie
1984 Matthew and Son Bridget Elliot TV movie
Wills & Burke Julia Matthews
1985 Archer's Adventure Catherine TV movie
Winners Carol Trig TV series - episode 1
1986 Windrider Jade
1987 Watch the Shadows Dance Amy Gabriel
The Bit Part Mary McAllister
Room to Move Carol Trig TV miniseries
An Australian in Rome Jill TV movie
Vietnam Megan Goddard TV miniseries
1988 Emerald City Helen
1989 Dead Calm Rae Ingram
Bangkok Hilton Katrina Stanton TV miniseries
1990 Days of Thunder Dr. Claire Lewicki
1991 Flirting Nicola
Billy Bathgate Drew Preston Golden Globe nomination - Best Supporting Actress
1992 Far and Away Shannon Christie
1993 Malice Tracy Kennsinger
My Life Gail Jones
1995 To Die For Suzanne Stone Maretto BAFTA Award nomination - Best Actress, Golden Globe win - Best Musical/Comedy Actress
Batman Forever Dr. Chase Meridian
1996 The Leading Man Academy Awards presenter
The Portrait of a Lady Isabel Archer
1997 The Peacemaker Dr. Julia Kelly
1998 Practical Magic Gillian Owens
1999 Eyes Wide Shut Alice Harford
2001 Moulin Rouge! Satine Academy Award nomination - Best Actress, Golden Globe win - Best Musical/Comedy Actress
The Others Grace Stewart Nominated for BAFTA Award - Best Actress
Nominated for Golden Globe - Best Drama Actress
Birthday Girl Sophia/Nadia
2002 The Hours Virginia Woolf Academy Award win - Best Actress, BAFTA Award win - Best Actress, Golden Globe win - Best Drama Actress
2003 Dogville Grace Margaret Mulligan
The Human Stain Faunia Farley
Cold Mountain Ada Monroe Golden Globe nomination - Best Drama Actress
2004 The Stepford Wives Joanna Eberhart
Birth Anna Golden Globe nomination - Best Drama Actress
2005 The Interpreter Silvia Broome
Bewitched Isabel Bigelow/Samantha Worst Screen Couple Razzie
2006 Fur Diane Arbus
Happy Feet Norma Jean voice
2007 The Invasion Carol Bennell
Margot at the Wedding Margot
The Golden Compass Marisa Coulter
2008 Australia Lady Sarah Ashley Post-production
2009 Need Post-poned because of her pregnancy
The Lady from Shanghai

[edit] Discography
"Come What May" single (Duet with Ewan McGregor - October 2001) AUS #10, UK #27
"Somethin' Stupid" single (Duet with Robbie Williams - December 2001) AUS #8, UK #1
"Kiss" / "Heartbreak Hotel" - Nicole Kidman / Hugh Jackman - November 2006 (Happy Feet Soundtrack)

[edit] Awards
Government honours

In 2006, Kidman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour, in recognition of her contribution to the arts and her charity work.[37] The award was presented by Governor-General of Australia, Major General Michael Jeffery in a ceremony at Government House, Canberra on 13 April 2007.[38]

Academy Awards

2003 - Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Hours
Berlin International Film Festival

2003 - Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress for The Hours
Boston Society of Film Critics

1995 - Best Actress for To Die For
British Academy of Film and Television Arts:

2003 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for The Hours
Broadcast Film Critics Association

1996 - Best Actress for To Die For
Golden Globe Awards:

1996 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for To Die For
2002 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for Moulin Rouge!
2003 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama for The Hours
Kansas City Film Critics Circle

2002 - Best Actress for The Others
Las Vegas Film Critics Society

2003 - Best Actress for The Hours
MTV Movie Awards:

2002 - Best Female Performance for Moulin Rouge!
2002 - Best Musical Sequence for Moulin Rouge!
Prestige Academy of Motion Pictures

1995 - Best Actress for To Die For
2001 - Best Actress for Moulin Rouge!
2001 - Best Musical Sequence for Moulin Rouge!
2002 - Best Actress for The Hours
2003 - Best Ensemble Cast Performance for Cold Mountain *(shared with the rest of the cast)
2003 - Distinguished Decade in Film
2004 - Best Ensemble Cast Performance for Dogville *(shared with the rest of the cast)
Seattle International Film Festival

1995 - Best Actress for To Die For
ShoWest Convention

1992 - Female Star of Tomorrow
2002 - Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film
In 2003, Kidman received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to those accolades, Kidman has received Best Actress awards from the following critics' groups or award giving organizations: Australian Film Institute, Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Empire Awards, Golden Satellite Awards, Hollywood Film Festival, London Critics Circle, Russian Guild of Film Critics, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association. In 2003, Kidman was given the American Cinematheque Award.

Preceded by
Jamie Lee Curtis
for True Lies Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
for To Die For
1996 Succeeded by
for Evita
Preceded by
Renée Zellweger
for Nurse Betty Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
for Moulin Rouge!
2002 Succeeded by
Renée Zellweger
for Chicago
Preceded by
Halle Berry
for Monster's Ball Silver Bear for Best Actress - Berlin Film Festival
for The Hours (tied with Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore)
2003 Succeeded by
Charlize Theron
for Monster and Catalina Sandino Moreno
for Maria full of Grace
Preceded by
Halle Berry
for Monster's Ball Academy Award for Best Actress
for The Hours
2002 Succeeded by
Charlize Theron
for Monster
Preceded by
Judi Dench
for Iris BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
for The Hours
2003 Succeeded by
Scarlett Johansson
for Lost in Translation
Preceded by
Sissy Spacek
for In the Bedroom Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
for The Hours
2003 Succeeded by
Charlize Theron
for Monster

[edit] Nominations
Academy Awards:

Best Actress in a Leading Role Moulin Rouge! (2002)
Golden Globe Awards:

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Birth (2005)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Cold Mountain (2004)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama The Others (2002)
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Billy Bathgate (1992)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Others (2002)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role To Die For (1996)
Goya Awards:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Others (2002)
Screen Actors Guild:

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role The Hours (2003)
Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Hours (2003)
Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Moulin Rouge! (2002)

[edit] References
^ Kidman, quoted in (March 4, 2002). "Pride of Place", Australian Story. ABC-TV.; Kidman, quoted in (August 29, 2004). "CV of a superstar". The Sydney Morning Herald.
^ UPI (November 30, 2006). Nicole Kidman highest paid female actor in film industry beating out Julia Roberts.. UPI.
^ Stafford, Annabel: Kidman and the Kennedys honoured for their service, The Age, 14 April 2007.
^ Keneally, Tom. "FILM; Nicole Kidman, From Down Under to 'Far and Away'", The New York Times, 1992-05-24. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
^ Thomson, David (2006). Nicole Kidman. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4273-9.
^ Dead Calm. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ Ebert, Roger."Dead Calm". 7 April 1989. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ Saturday Night Live episode 19.7 (#354). Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
^ Memorable Moments From Oscar Night. ABC News. 23 March 2003. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ AAP (September 29, 2006). Kidman Earns Her Way into Record Spot. Nine MSN.
^ Associated Press (November 30, 2005). Julia Roberts again tops list of highest-paid actresses. The San Diego Union-Tribune.
^ Sander, Peter. "New Line and Director Settle 'Rings' Suit, Look to 'Hobbit'", Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2007.
^ Nicole Kidman Exercises Her Brain (2007-06-25). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Nicole Kidman to star in, produce 'Monte Carlo' (2007-07-11). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ E! Online (March 30, 2001). Nicole Kidman Suffers Miscarriage.
^ a b "Nicole Kidman: Still Loves Tom Cruise". ABC News. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
^ MSNBC (November 12, 2007). Kidman says she’ll never have plastic surgery.
^ Kidman wins affair libel case (2003-07-31). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Nicole Kidman Biography. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Carrey and Kidman To Become Man and Wife? (2003-04-28). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Nicole Kidman Linked Again? (2003-06-05). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Kravitz Moves On (2004-01-07). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Kidman Was Engaged Between Cruise & Urban (2007-09-05). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Confirmed: Nicole Kidman is pregnant. The Sydney Morning Herald (2008-01-08). Retrieved on 2008-01-08.
^ Dan McAloon (2006-06-09). Kidman wedding in Australia seen as spiritual homecoming. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ "Tom & Nicole Split A Question of Faith", New York Post, February 12, 2001.
^ "Kidman condemns Hamas, Hezbollah" Herald Sun. August 17, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ Nicole Kidman's Federal Compaign Contribution Report October 16, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ Nicole Kidman. Australian Honours Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
^ Byrnes, Holly. "Nicole's new bridal path", The Daily Telegraph, 2007-04-12. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
^ "Kidman becomes ambassador for UN" BBC News. January 26, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ "Kidman joins the Breast Cancer Care crusade" July 2, 2006. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ "Nicole Kidman fashions fight against women’s cancers" USA Today. March 3, 2004. Retrieved on October 22, 2006.
^ Kidman wins restraining order (2005-01-27). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
^ Stafford, Annabel: Kidman and the Kennedys honoured for their service, The Age, 14 April 2007.
^ Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (2007-04-13). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.

[edit] Additional reading
Thomson, David (2006). Nicole Kidman. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4273-9.

Charlotte Mary Yonge

harlotte Mary Yonge (August 11, 1823 - May 24, 1901), was an English novelist, known for her huge output, mostly now out of print.

She was born in Otterbourne, Hampshire, England, into a religious family background, was devoted to the Church of England, and much influenced by John Keble, a near neighbour and one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement. Yonge is herself sometimes referred to as "the novelist of the Oxford Movement", as her novels frequently reflect the values and concerns of Anglo-Catholicism.

She began writing in 1848, and published during her long life about 100 works, chiefly novels. Her first commercial success, The Heir of Redclyffe (1854), provided the funding to enable the schooner Southern Cross to be put into service on behalf of George Selwyn. Similar charitable works were done with the profits from later novels. Yonge was also editor, for nearly forty years, of a magazine for young ladies, the Monthly Packet.

Among the best known of her works are The Heir of Redclyffe, Heartsease, and The Daisy Chain. A Book of Golden Deeds is a collection of true stories of courage and self-sacrifice. She also wrote Cameos from English History, and Life of John Coleridge Patteson: Missionary Bishop of the Melanesian Islands and Hannah More. Her History of Christian Names was described as "the first serious attempt at tackling the subject" and as the standard work on names, despite its etymological shortcomings, in the preface to the first edition of The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, 1944.

Although Yonge's work is largely out of print today, during her lifetime she was admired and respected by such notable literary figures as Alfred Tennyson and Henry James, and strongly influenced the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, especially William Morris and D. G. Rossetti.

Her personal example and influence on her god-daughter, Alice Mary Coleridge, played a formative role in Coleridge's zeal for women's education and thus, indirectly, lead to the foundation of Abbots Bromley School for Girls.

After her death, her friend, assistant and collaborator, Christabel Coleridge, published the biographical Charlotte Mary Yonge: her Life and Letters (1903).

[edit] Selected bibliography
The Heir of Redclyffe (1854)
Heartsease (1854)
The Daisy Chain (1856)
A History of Christian Names (1863, revised 1884)
A Book of Golden Deeds (1864)
The Dove in the Eagle's Nest (1866)
Life of John Coleridge Patteson (1873)
The Victorian Half Century (1887)
Hannah More (1888)

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (April 1, 1647–July 26, 1680) was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry.

He was the toast of the Restoration court and a patron of the arts. He married an heiress, Elizabeth Malet, but had many mistresses, including the actress Elizabeth Barry.
Rochester was born in Ditchley, Oxfordshire. His mother Anne St. John, Countess of Rochester was a Royalist by descent and a staunch Anglican. His father Henry Wilmot, a hard-drinking Royalist from Anglo-Irish stock, had been named Earl of Rochester in 1652 for military services to Charles II during his exile under the Commonwealth; he died abroad in 1658, two years before the restoration of the monarchy in England.

At age twelve, Rochester matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, and there, it is said, "grew debauched".[1] At fourteen he was conferred with the degree of M.A. by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was Chancellor to the University and Rochester's uncle. After carrying out a Grand Tour of France and Italy, Rochester returned to London, where he graced the Restoration court. Later, his courage in a sea-battle against the Dutch made him a hero.

In 1667 he married Elizabeth Malet, a witty heiress whom he had attempted to abduct two years earlier. Samuel Pepys describes the event in his diary for 28 May 1665:

Thence to my Lady Sandwich's, where, to my shame, I had not been a great while before. Here, upon my telling her a story of my Lord Rochester's running away on Friday night last with Mrs. Mallett, the great beauty and fortune of the North, who had supped at White Hall with Mrs. Stewart, and was going home to her lodgings with her grandfather, my Lord Haly, by coach; and was at Charing Cross seized on by both horse and foot men, and forcibly taken from him, and put into a coach with six horses, and two women provided to receive her, and carried away. Upon immediate pursuit, my Lord of Rochester (for whom the King had spoke to the lady often, but with no successe [sic]) was taken at Uxbridge; but the lady is not yet heard of, and the King mighty angry, and the Lord sent to the Tower.[2]

Rochester's life was divided between domesticity in the country and a riotous existence at court, where he was renowned for drunkenness, vivacious conversation, and "extravagant frolics" as part of the Merry Gang[3] (as Andrew Marvell called them). The Merry Gang flourished for about fifteen years after 1665 and included Henry Jermyn; Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset; John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave; Henry Killigrew; Sir Charles Sedley; the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege; and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Much of Rochester's poetry suggests that he was bisexual.

In 1674, Rochester wrote A Satyr on Charles II, which criticised the King for being obsessed with sex at the expense of his kingdom. Instead of handing a poem Charles requested, Rochester handed him this libel. Consequently, Rochester fled from the court. In hiding, Rochester set up as "Doctor Bendo", a quack physician skilled in treating 'barrenness' (infertility). His practice was, it is said,[citation needed] 'not without success,' implying his intercession of himself as surreptitious sperm donor. He was involved with the theatre and was the model for the witty, poetry-reciting rake Dorimant in Etherege's The Man of Mode (1676). According to an often repeated anecdote, his coaching of his mistress Elizabeth Barry began her career as the greatest actress of the Restoration stage.

By the age of thirty-three Rochester was dying, presumably from syphilis, other venereal diseases, and the effects of alcoholism. His mother had him attended in his final weeks by her religious associates, particularly Gilbert Burnet, who later became the Bishop of Salisbury. A deathbed renunciation of atheism was published and promulgated as the conversion of a prodigal. This became legendary, reappearing in numerous pious tracts over the next two centuries. This story is however suspect because the publisher of this "conversion" was Burnet, who had often criticised Rochester during his life and may have used a false conversion to further his own goals. Rochester was later buried at Spelsbury Church in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire.

[edit] Works
Because his interest in poetry was not professional, Rochester's poetic work varies widely in form, genre, and content. He was part of a "mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease",[4] who continued to produce their poetry in manuscripts, rather than in publication. As a consequence, some of Rochester's work deals with topical concerns, such as satires of courtly affairs in libels, to parodies of the styles of his contemporaries, such as Sir Charles Scroope. He is also notable for his impromptus,[5] one of which is a teasing epigram of King Charles II:

God bless our good and gracious king,
Whose promise none relies on;
Who never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.
To which Charles is reputed to have replied:

"That is true; for my words are my own, but my actions are those of my ministers."[6]
His poetry displays a wide range of learning, and a wide range of influences. These included imitations of Malherbe, Ronsard, and Boileau. Rochester also translated or adapted from classical authors such as Petronius, Lucretius, Ovid, Anacreon, Horace, and Seneca.

Rochester's writings were at once admired and infamous. A Satyr Against Mankind (1675), one of the few poems he published (in a broadside in 1679) is a scathing denunciation of rationalism and optimism that contrasts human perfidy with animal wisdom.

The majority of his poetry was not published under his name until after his death. Before his death, Burnet claimed Wilmot experienced a religious conversion recanting his past, and ordering “all his profane and lewd writings” burned, though this story is highly suspect given the rivalry between the two. It is possible that Burnet used this "conversion" to suppress Wilmot's anti-religious work.

Rochester was also interested in the theatre. In addition to an interest in the actresses, he wrote an adaptation of Fletcher's Valentinian (1685), a scene for Sir Robert Howard's The Conquest of China, a prologue to Elkanah Settle's The Empress of Morocco (1673), and epilogues to Sir Francis Fane's Love in the Dark (1675), Charles Davenant's Circe, a Tragedy (1677).

The best-known dramatic work attributed to Rochester, Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, has never been successfully proven to be written by him. However, supposed posthumous printings of Sodom gave rise to prosecutions for obscenity, and were destroyed. On 16 December 2004 one of the few surviving copies of Sodom was sold by Sotheby's for £45,600.[citation needed]

[edit] Criticism and influence
Rochester has not lacked distinguished admirers. His contemporary Aphra Behn lauded him in verse and also based several rakish characters in her plays on Rochester. Anne Wharton wrote an elegy marking Rochester's death, which in itself became a poem praised by contemporary poets[7]. Horace Walpole described him as "a man whom the muses were fond to inspire but ashamed to avow".[8] Daniel Defoe quoted him in Moll Flanders,[9] and discussed Rochester in other works. Tennyson would recite from him with fervour.[citation needed] Voltaire, who spoke of Rochester as "the man of genius, the great poet", admired Rochester's satire for "energy and fire" and translated some lines into French to "display the shining imagination his lordship only could boast."[10] Goethe quoted A Satyr against Reason and Mankind in English in his Autobiography.[11] William Hazlitt commented that Rochester's "verses cut and sparkle like diamonds"[12] while his "epigrams were the bitterest, the least laboured, and the truest, that ever were written".[13] Referring to Rochester's perspective, Hazlitt wrote that "his contempt for everything that others respect almost amounts to sublimity."[13]

[edit] In drama and film
The witty amoral nobleman Dorimant in Rochester's friend George Etherege's Restoration Comedy The Man of Mode is based on the Earl.

Two plays have been directly written about Rochester's life. Stephen Jeffreys wrote The Libertine in 1994; it was staged by the Royal Court Theatre. Craig Baxter wrote The Ministry of Pleasure, which was produced at the Latchmere Theatre in London, in 2004.

The film The Libertine, based on Jeffreys's play, was shown at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival and was released in the UK on November 25, 2005. While taking some artistic liberties, it chronicles Rochester's life, with Johnny Depp as Rochester, Samantha Morton as Elizabeth Barry, John Malkovich as King Charles II, and Rosamund Pike as Elizabeth Malet.

It has also been suggested[citation needed] that the libertine character in Aphra Behn's The Rover, Willmore, is based on John Wilmot.

[edit] Notes
^ Google books Thomas Hearne, Philip Bliss, and John Buchanan-Brown, The Remains of Thomas Hearne: Reliquiae Hearnianae; Being Extracts from His MS Diaries (London: Fontwell (Sx.) Centaur P., 1966). 122. Accessed May 5, 2007
^ Diary of Samuel Pepys — Complete 1665 N.S., available at Project Gutenberg. Samuel Pepys, entry for 26 May 1665, Diary of Samuel Pepys May 28, 1665. Accessed May 5, 2007
^ Google books Charles Beauclerk, Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King (New York: Grove, 2005), 272. Accessed May 15, 2007
^ Alexander Pope, "First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace", line 108.
^ Rochester composed at least 10 versions of Impromptus on Charles II
^ A thorough discourse concerning this epigram and the king's response can be found from the 19th to 21st paragraph of the Forward of the "The Tryal of William Penn and William Mead" [1]
^ Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the Yale University
^ Horace Walpole, A Catalogue of the Royal and Noble Authors of England, 1758.
^ Moll Flanders, available at Project Gutenberg. Daniel Defoe, The Life And Misfortunes of Moll Flanders
^ Great Books Online, François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778). "Letter XXI—On the Earl of Rochester and Mr. Waller" Letters on the English. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14,, Accessed May 15, 2007
^ Notes and Queries, No.8, Dec 22, 1849, available at Project Gutenberg. Goethe quotes Rochester without attribution.
^ William Hazlitt, Select British Poets (1824)
^ a b William Hazlitt, Lectures on the English Poets, available at Project Gutenberg.

[edit] Further reading
Greene, Graham (1974). Lord Rochester's Monkey, being the Life of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester. New York: The Bodley Head. ASIN B000J30NL4.
Lamb, Jeremy (New edition, 2005). So Idle a Rogue: The Life and Death of Lord Rochester. Sutton, 288 pages. ISBN 0-7509-3913-3.
Johnson, James William (2004). A Profane Wit: The Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Rochester, NY.: University of Rochester Press. ISBN 1-58046-170-0.
Wilmot, John (1999). The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Ed. Harold Love.. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198183674.
Wilmot, John; David M. Vieth, ed. (New edition, 2002). The Complete Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 256 pages. ISBN 0-300-09713-1.
Wilmot, John (2002). The Debt to Pleasure. New York: Routledge, 140 pages. ISBN 0-415-94084-2.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads.

Wordsworth's masterpiece is generally considered to be The Prelude, an autobiographical poem of his early years which the poet revised and expanded a number of times. The work was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem "to Coleridge". Wordsworth was England's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.


[edit] Early life and education
The second of five children born to John Wordsworth (b. April 7th 1741), William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth in Cumberland—part of the scenic region in north-west England called the Lake District. His sister, the poet and diarist Dorothy Wordsworth, to whom he was close all his life, was born the following year. After the death of their mother in 1778, their father sent William to Hawkshead Grammar School and sent Dorothy to live with relatives in Yorkshire. She and William did not meet again for another nine years.

In 1783 his father, who was a lawyer and the solicitor for the Earl of Lonsdale (a man much despised in the area), died. The estate consisted of around £4500[citation needed], most of it in claims upon the Earl, who thwarted these claims until his death in 1802. The Earl's successor, however, settled the claims with interest. After their father's death, the Wordsworth children were left under the guardianship of their uncles. Although many aspects of his boyhood were positive, he recalled bouts of loneliness and anxiety. It took him many years, and much writing, to recover from the death of his parents and his separation

Wordsworth began attending St John's College, Cambridge in 1787, maintained by relatives. He returned to Hawkshead for his first two summer holidays, and often spent later holidays on walking tours, visiting places famous for the beauty of their landscape. In 1790, he visited Revolutionary France and supported the Republican movement. The following year, he graduated from Cambridge without distinction. His youngest brother, Christopher, rose to be Master of Trinity College.[1]

[edit] Relationship with Annette Vallon
In November 1791, Wordsworth returned to France and took a walking tour of Europe that included the Alps and Italy. He fell in love with a French woman, Annette Vallon, who in 1792 gave birth to their child, Caroline. Because of lack of money and Britain's tensions with France, he returned alone to England the next year.[2] The circumstances of his return and his subsequent behaviour raise doubts as to his declared wish to marry Annette but he supported her and his daughter as best he could in later life. During this period, he wrote his acclaimed "It is a beauteous evening, calm and free," recalling his seaside walk with his daughter, whom he had not seen for ten years. At the conception of this poem, he had never seen his daughter before. The occurring lines reveal his deep love for both child and mother. The Reign of Terror estranged him from the Republican movement, and war between France and Britain prevented him from seeing Annette and Caroline again for several years. There are also strong suggestions that Wordsworth may have been depressed and emotionally unsettled in the mid 1790s.

With the Peace of Amiens again allowing travel to France, in 1802 Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, visited Annette and Caroline in France and arrived at a mutually agreeable settlement regarding Wordsworth's obligations.[2]

[edit] First publication and Lyrical Ballads
1793 saw Wordsworth's first published poetry with the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. He received a legacy of £900 from Raisley Calvert in 1795 so that he could pursue writing poetry. That year, he also met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset. The two poets quickly developed a close friendship. In 1797, Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, moved to Somerset, just a few miles away from Coleridge's home in Nether Stowey. Together, Wordsworth and Coleridge (with insights from Dorothy) produced Lyrical Ballads (1798), an important work in the English Romantic movement. The volume had neither the name of Wordsworth nor Coleridge as author. One of Wordsworth's most famous poems, "Tintern Abbey", was published in the work, along with Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The second edition, published in 1800, had only Wordsworth listed as author, and included a preface to the poems, which was significantly augmented in the 1802 edition. This Preface to Lyrical Ballads is considered a central work of Romantic literary theory. In it, Wordsworth discusses what he sees as the elements of a new type of poetry, one based on the "real language of men" and which avoids the poetic diction of much eighteenth-century poetry. Here, Wordsworth also gives his famous definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquility." A fourth and final edition of Lyrical Ballads was published in 1805.

Wordsworth hated the poetry of Alexander Pope, believing that it was the antithesis of his own work; he denied that Pope's work was even poetry, saying that if Pope's work was poetry, then Wordsworth's was not.

[edit] Germany and move to the Lake District
Wordsworth, Dorothy, and Coleridge then travelled to Germany in the autumn of 1798. While Coleridge was intellectually stimulated by the trip, its main effect on Wordsworth was to produce homesickness.[2] During the harsh winter of 1798–1799, Wordsworth lived with Dorothy in Goslar, and despite extreme stress and loneliness, he began work on an autobiographical piece later titled The Prelude. He also wrote a number of famous poems, including "the Lucy poems". He and his sister moved back to England, now to Dove Cottage in Grasmere in the Lake District, and this time with fellow poet Robert Southey nearby. Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey came to be known as the "Lake Poets". Through this period, many of his poems revolve around themes of death, endurance, separation, and grief.

William Wordsworth, reproduced from Margaret Gillies' 1839 original
Portrait, 1842, by Benjamin Haydon
[edit] Marriage
In 1802, after returning from his trip to France with Dorothy to visit Annette and Caroline, Wordsworth received the inheritance owed by Lord Lonsdale since John Wordsworth's death in 1783. Later that year, he married a childhood friend, Mary Hutchinson.[2] Dorothy continued to live with the couple and grew close to Mary. The following year, Mary gave birth to the first of five children, John.

Both Coleridge's health and his relationship to Wordsworth began showing signs of decay in 1804. That year Wordsworth befriended Robert Southey. With Napoleon's rise as Emperor of the French, Wordsworth's last wisp of liberalism fell, and from then on he identified himself as a Tory.

[edit] Autobiographical work and Poems in Two Volumes
Wordsworth had for years been making plans to write a long philosophical poem in three parts, which he intended to call The Recluse. He had in 1798–99 started an autobiographical poem, which he never named but called the "poem to Coleridge", which would serve as an appendix to The Recluse. In 1804 he began expanding this autobiographical work, having decided to make it a prologue rather than an appendix to the larger work he planned. By 1805, he had completed it, but refused to publish such a personal work until he had completed the whole of The Recluse. The death of his brother, John, in 1805 affected him strongly.

The source of Wordsworth's philosophical allegiances as articulated in The Prelude and in such shorter works as "Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey" has been the source of much critical debate. While it had long been supposed that Wordsworth relied chiefly on Coleridge for philosophical guidance, more recent scholarship has suggested that Wordsworth's ideas may have been formed years before he and Coleridge became friends in the mid 1790s. While in Revolutionary Paris in 1792, the twenty-two year old Wordsworth made the acquaintance of the mysterious traveller John "Walking" Stewart (1747-1822),[3] who was nearing the end of a thirty-years' peregrination from Madras, India, through Persia and Arabia, across Africa and all of Europe, and up through the fledgling United States. By the time of their association, Stewart had published an ambitious work of original materialist philosophy entitled The Apocalypse of Nature (London, 1791), to which many of Wordsworth's philosophical sentiments are likely indebted.

In 1807, his Poems in Two Volumes were published, including "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood". Up to this point Wordsworth was known publicly only for Lyrical Ballads, and he hoped this collection would cement his reputation. Its reception was lukewarm, however. For a time (starting in 1810), Wordsworth and Coleridge were estranged over the latter's opium addiction.[2] Two of his children, Thomas and Catherine, died in 1812. The following year, he received an appointment as Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland, and the £400 per year income from the post made him financially secure. His family, including Dorothy, moved to Rydal Mount, Ambleside (between Grasmere and Rydal Water), where he spent the rest of his life.[2]

[edit] The Prospectus
In 1814 he published The Excursion as the second part of the three-part The Recluse. He had not completed the first and third parts, and never would complete them. However, he did write a poetic Prospectus to "The Recluse" in which he lays out the structure and intent of the poem. The Prospectus contains some of Wordsworth's most famous lines on the relation between the human mind and nature:

My voice proclaims
How exquisitely the individual Mind
(And the progressive powers perhaps no less
Of the whole species) to the external World
Is fitted:--and how exquisitely, too,
Theme this but little heard of among Men,
The external World is fitted to the Mind . . .
Some modern critics recognise a decline in his works beginning around the mid-1810s. But this decline was perhaps more a change in his lifestyle and beliefs, since most of the issues that characterise his early poetry (loss, death, endurance, separation, abandonment) were resolved in his writings. But, by 1820 he enjoyed the success accompanying a reversal in the contemporary critical opinion of his earlier works. By 1828, Wordsworth had become fully reconciled to Coleridge, and the two toured the Rhineland together that year.[2] Dorothy suffered from a severe illness in 1829 that rendered her an invalid for the remainder of her life. In 1835, Wordsworth gave Annette and Caroline the money they needed for support.

[edit] The Poet Laureate and other honours
Wordsworth received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1838 from Durham University, and the same honour from Oxford University the next year.[2] In 1842 the government awarded him a civil list pension amounting to £300 a year. With the death in 1843 of Robert Southey, Wordsworth became the Poet Laureate. When his daughter, Dora, died in 1847, his production of poetry came to a standstill.

[edit] Death

Gravestone of William Wordsworth, Grasmere, CumbriaWilliam Wordsworth died in Rydal Mount in 1850 and was buried at St. Oswald's church in Grasmere. His widow published his lengthy autobiographical "poem to Coleridge" as The Prelude several months after his death. Though this failed to arouse great interest in 1850, it has since come to be recognised as his masterpiece. The lives of Wordsworth and Coleridge, in particular their collaboration on the "Lyrical Ballads," are discussed in the 2000 film Pandaemonium.

[edit] Major works
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems (1798)
"Simon Lee"
"We Are Seven"
"Lines Written in Early Spring"
"Expostulation and Reply"
"The Tables Turned"
"The Thorn"
"Lines Composed A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey"
Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems (1800)
Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
"Strange fits of passion have I known"[4]
"She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways"[4]
"Three years she grew"[4]
"A slumber did my spirit seal"[4]
"I travelled among unknown men"[4]
"Lucy Gray"
"The Two April Mornings"
"The Ruined Cottage"
Poems, in Two Volumes (1807)
"Resolution and Independence"
"I wandered lonely as a cloud"
"My heart leaps up"
"Ode: Intimations of Immortality"
"Ode to Duty"
"The Solitary Reaper"
"Elegiac Stanzas"
"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802"
"London, 1802"
"The world is too much with us"
The Excursion (1814)
"Prospectus to The Recluse"
Ecclesiastical Sketches (1822)
The Prelude (1850, posthumous)
The Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind

[edit] Notes
^ Appendix A (Past Governors) of Allport, D.H. & Friskney, N.J. "A Short History of Wilson's School", Wilson's School Charitable Trust, 1987
^ a b c d e f g h [1]Everett, Glenn, "William Wordsworth: Biography" Web page at The Victorian Web Web site, accessed January 7, 2007
^ Kelly Grovier, "Dream Walker: A Wordsworth Mystery Solved", Times Literary Supplement, 16 February 2007
^ a b c d e M. H. Abrams, editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Romantic Period, writes of these five poems: "This and the four following pieces are often grouped by editors as the 'Lucy poems,' even though 'A slumber did my spirit seal' does not identify the 'she' who is the subject of that poem. All but the last were written in 1799, while Wordsworth and his sister were in Germany, and homesick. There has been diligent speculation about the identity of Lucy, but it remains speculation. The one certainty is that she is not the girl of Wordsworth's 'Lucy Gray'" (Abrams 2000).

[edit] Sources
M. H. Abrams, ed. (2000), The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume 2A, The Romantic Period (7th ed.), New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., ISBN 0-393-97568-1
Stephen Gill, ed. (2000), William Wordsworth: The Major Works, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., ISBN 0-19-284044-4

[edit] External links
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
William WordsworthWikimedia Commons has media related to:
William Wordsworth
[edit] General information and biographical sketches
"Wordsworth's hidden arguments": an article in the TLS by Dan Jacobson, October 31 2007
Short biographical sketch by Glenn Everett
Worsworth's links with Claines, Worcester
Wordsworth and the Lake District
Wordsworth's Grave
Biography and Works
Wordsworth and the Lake District
The Wordsworth Trust
Romantic Circles -- Excellent Editions & Articles on Wordsworth and other Authors of the Romantic period
Hawkshead Grammar School Museum

[edit] Wordsworth's works
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
William's complete poetical works by Wordsworth
Selected Poems by W.Wordsworth
Biography and Works
Works by William Wordsworth at Project Gutenberg
Poetry Archive: 166 poems of William Wordsworth
To Toussaint Louverture - poem by William Wordsworth
Extensive Information on Wordsworth's Poem, Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929) with its famous dictum, "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
Born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London to Sir Leslie Stephen and Julia Prinsep Stephen (born Jackson) (1846–1895), she was educated by her parents in their literate and well-connected household at 22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington. Virginia's parents had each been married previously, and their spouses had died. Consequently, the household contained the children of three marriages: Julia's children with her first husband Herbert Duckworth: George Duckworth (1868–1934); Stella Duckworth (1869–1897); and Gerald Duckworth (1870–1937). Laura Makepeace Stephen (1870–1945), Leslie's daughter with Minny Thackeray, who was declared mentally disabled and lived with them until she was institutionalised in 1891 to the end of her life; and Leslie and Julia's children: Vanessa Stephen (1879–1961); Thoby Stephen (1880–1906); Virginia; and Adrian Stephen (1883–1948).

Sir Leslie Stephen's eminence as an editor, critic, and biographer, and his connection to William Thackeray (he was the widower of Thackeray's eldest daughter) meant that Woolf was raised in an environment filled with the influences of Victorian literary society.

Henry James, George Eliot, George Henry Lewes, Julia Margaret Cameron (an aunt of Julia Stephen), and James Russell Lowell, who was made Virginia's godfather, were among the visitors to the house. Julia Stephen was equally well connected. Descended from an attendant of Marie Antoinette, she came from a family of renowned beauties who left their mark on Victorian society as models for Pre-Raphaelite artists and early photographers. Supplementing these influences was the immense library at 22 Hyde Park Gate, from which Virginia (unlike her brothers, who were formally educated) was taught the classics and English literature.

According to her memoirs her most vivid childhood memories, however, were not of London but of St Ives in Cornwall, where the family spent every summer until 1895. The family stayed in their home called the Talland House, which looked out over the Porthminster Bay. Memories of the family holidays and impressions of the landscape, especially the Godrevy Lighthouse, informed the fiction she wrote in later years, notably To the Lighthouse. She also based the summer home in Scotland after the Talland House and the Ramsay family after her own family.

The sudden death of her mother in 1895, when Virginia was 13, and that of her half sister Stella two years later, led to the first of Virginia's several nervous breakdowns. The death of her father in 1904 provoked her most alarming collapse and she was briefly institutionalized.

Her breakdowns and subsequent recurring depressive periods, modern scholars have claimed,[1] were also induced by the sexual abuse she and Vanessa were subject to by their half-brothers George and Gerald (which Woolf recalls in her autobiographical essays A Sketch of the Past and 22 Hyde Park Gate).

Throughout her life, Woolf was plagued by drastic mood swings. Though these recurring mental breakdowns greatly affected her social functioning, her literary abilities remained intact. Modern diagnostic techniques have led to a posthumous diagnosis of bipolar disorder, an illness which coloured her work, relationships, and life, and eventually led to her suicide. Following the death of her father in 1904 and her second serious nervous breakdown, Virginia, Vanessa, and Adrian sold 22 Hyde Park Gate, and bought a house at 46 Gordon Square in Bloomsbury.

Following studies at King's College London, Woolf came to know Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, Saxon Sydney-Turner, Duncan Grant, and Leonard Woolf, who together formed the nucleus of the intellectual circle known as the Bloomsbury Group which came to notorious fame in 1910 with the Dreadnought hoax Virginia Woolf participated in, dressed as a male Abyssinian royalty.

[edit] Personal life
Virginia Stephen married writer Leonard Woolf in 1912, referring to him during their engagement as a "penniless Jew." The couple shared a close bond, and in 1937 Woolf wrote in her diary "Love-making — after 25 years can’t be attained by my unattractive countenance ... you see it is enormous pleasure being wanted, a pleasure that I have never felt." They also collaborated professionally, in 1917 founding the Hogarth Press, which subsequently published most of Woolf's work.[2] The ethos of Bloomsbury discouraged sexual exclusivity, and in 1922, Woolf met Vita Sackville-West. After a tentative start, they began a relationship that lasted through most of the 1920s.[3] In 1928, Woolf presented Sackville-West with Orlando, a fantastical biography in which the eponymous hero's life spans three centuries and both genders. It has been called by Nigel Nicolson, Vita Sackville-West's son, "the longest and most charming love letter in literature."[4] After their affair ended, the two women remained friends until Woolf's death.

[edit] Death
After completing the manuscript of her last (posthumously published) novel Between the Acts, Woolf fell victim to a depression similar to that which she had earlier experienced. The war, the Luftwaffe's destruction of her London homes, as well as the cool reception given to her biography of her late friend Roger Fry, worsened her condition until she was unable to work.[5]

On 28 March 1941, rather than having another nervous breakdown, Woolf drowned herself by weighing her pockets with stones and walking into the River Ouse near her home. Her body was not found until April 18. Her husband buried her remains under a tree in the garden of their house in Rodmell, Sussex.

In her last note to her husband she wrote:

“ I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. ”

[edit] Work
This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please improve the article by adding references. See the talk page for details. (September 2007)

Woolf began writing professionally in 1905, initially for the Times Literary Supplement with a journalistic piece about Haworth, home of the Brontë family.[6] Her first novel, The Voyage Out, was published in 1915 by her half-brother's imprint, Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd.

This novel was originally entitled Melymbrosia, but Woolf repeatedly changed the draft. An earlier version of The Voyage Out has been reconstructed by Woolf scholar Louise DeSalvo and is now available to the public under the intended title. DeSalvo argues that many of the changes Woolf made in the text were in response to changes in her own life [7].

Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf.Woolf went on to publish novels and essays as a public intellectual to both critical and popular success. Much of her work was self-published through the Hogarth Press.[8] She has been hailed as one of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century and one of the foremost Modernists, though she disdained some artists in this category.

Woolf is considered one of the greatest innovators in the English language. In her works she experimented with stream-of-consciousness, the underlying psychological as well as emotional motives of characters, and the various possibilities of fractured narrative and chronology. In the words of E. M. Forster, she pushed the English language "a little further against the dark," and her literary achievements and creativity are influential even today.

Woolf's reputation declined sharply after World War II, but her eminence was re-established with the surge of Feminist criticism in the 1970s. After a few more ideologically based altercations, not least caused by claims that Woolf was anti-Semitic and a snob, it seems that a critical consensus has been reached regarding her stature as a novelist.

Her work was criticised for epitomizing the narrow world of the upper-middle class English intelligentsia. Some critics judged it to be lacking in universality and depth, without the power to communicate anything of emotional or ethical relevance to the disillusioned common reader, weary of the 1920s aesthetes. She is also criticized as an anti-Semite, despite her marriage to a Jewish man. She wrote in her diary, "I do not like the Jewish voice; I do not like the Jewish laugh." However, in a 1930 letter to Ethel Smyth quoted in Nigel Nicolson's biography,Virginia Woolf, she recollects her boasts of Leonard's Jewishness confirming her snobbish tendencies, "How I hated marrying a Jew- What a snob I was, for they have immense vitality." [9]

Virginia Woolf's peculiarities as a fiction writer have tended to obscure her central strength: Woolf is arguably the major lyrical novelist in the English language. Her novels are highly experimental: a narrative, frequently uneventful and commonplace, is refracted—and sometimes almost dissolved—in the characters' receptive consciousness. Intense lyricism and stylistic virtuosity fuse to create a world overabundant with auditory and visual impressions.

The intensity of Virginia Woolf's poetic vision elevates the ordinary, sometimes banal settings of most of her novels, even as they are often set in an environment of war. For example, Mrs Dalloway (1925) centres on the efforts of Clarissa Dalloway, a middle-aged society woman, to organize a party, even as her life is paralleled with that of Septimus Warren Smith, a working-class veteran who has returned from the First World War bearing deep psychological scars.

To the Lighthouse (1927) is set on two days ten years apart. The plot centers around the Ramsay family's anticipation of and reflection upon a visit to a lighthouse and the connected familial tensions. One of the primary themes of the novel is the struggle in the creative process that beset painter Lily Briscoe while she struggles to paint in the midst of the family drama. The novel is also a meditation upon the lives of a nation's inhabitants in the midst of war, and of the people left behind.

The Waves (1931) presents a group of six friends whose reflections, which are closer to recitatives than to interior monologues proper, create a wave-like atmosphere that is more akin to a prose poem than to a plot-centered novel.

Her last work, Between the Acts (1941) sums up and magnifies Woolf's chief preoccupations: the transformation of life through art, sexual ambivalence, and meditation on the themes of flux of time and life, presented simultaneously as corrosion and rejuvenation - all set in a highly imaginative and symbolic narrative encompassing almost all of English history.

While nowhere near a simple recapitulation of the coterie's ideals, Woolf's work can be understood as consistently in dialogue with Bloomsbury, particularly its tendency (informed by G.E. Moore, among others) towards doctrinaire rationalism.[citation needed]

[edit] Modern scholarship and interpretations
Recently, studies of Virginia Woolf have focused on feminist and lesbian themes in her work, such as in the 1997 collection of critical essays, Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings, edited by Eileen Barrett and Patricia Cramer. Louise A. DeSalvo offers treatment of the incestuous sexual abuse Woolf experienced as a young woman in her book Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on her Life and Work.

Woolf's fiction is also studied for its insight into shell shock, war, class, and modern British society. Her best-known nonfiction works, A Room of One's Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938), examine the difficulties female writers and intellectuals faced in an era when men held disproportionate legal and economic power, and the future of women in education and society.

Irene Coates's book Who's Afraid of Leonard Woolf: A Case for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf takes the position that Leonard Woolf's treatment of his wife encouraged her ill health and ultimately was responsible for her death. The position, which is not accepted by Leonard's family, is extensively researched and fills in some of the gaps in the traditional account of Virginia Woolf's life. In contrast, Victoria Glendinning's book Leonard Woolf: A Biography, argues that Leonard Woolf was very supportive of his wife, remarkably so in view of her "corrosive contempt" for his Jewish origins.[10]

The first biography of Virginia Woolf was published in 1972 by her nephew, Quentin Bell.

In 1989 Louise Desalvo published the book Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work.

In 1992, Thomas Caramagno published the book The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness."

Hermione Lee's 1996 biography Virginia Woolf provides a thorough and authoritative examination of Woolf's life and work.

In 2001 Louise DeSalvo and Mitchell A. Leaska edited The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. Julia Briggs's Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life, published in 2005, is the most recent examination of Woolf's life. It focuses on Woolf's writing, including her novels and her commentary on the creative process, to illuminate her life. Thomas Szasz's book My Madness Saved Me: The Madness and Marriage of Virginia Woolf (ISBN 0-7658-0321-6) was published in 2006.

[edit] Cultural references
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The article could be improved by integrating relevant items and removing inappropriate ones.

Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002).Michael Cunningham's 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours uses some of Woolf's characteristic stylistic tools to intertwine a story of the Virginia who is writing Mrs Dalloway with stories of two other women decades apart, each of whom is planning a party. The book was adapted into a 2002 film, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf in the movie.
Playwright Edward Albee asked Woolf's widower Leonard Woolf for permission to use his wife's name in the title of his play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which concerns a clash between a university professor and his wife as they host a younger faculty couple for evening cocktails. The film adaptation of the play is the only film to be nominated in every eligible category at the Academy Awards.
Indiana band Murder by Death have a song entitled "I'm Afraid of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" on their first album, Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing.
American folk rock duo Indigo Girls wrote and recorded a song called "Virginia Woolf" for their 1992 album Rites of Passage, and also included it on their live recording 1200 Curfews in 1995.
British indie rock band Assembly Now reference Woolf by name in their song "It's Magnetic".
British singer Steve Harley wrote and recorded a song "Riding the Waves (for Virginia Woolf)" for his album Hobo with a grin.
American folk singer Sara Hickman recorded a song "Room Of One's Own" on her album "Necessary Angels."
Laura Veirs references Virginia Woolf in her song "Rapture".
In The Reptile Room, the second novel in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, there is mention of a snake called the Virginian Wolfsnake. The only thing said about it is that it should never, ever be allowed near a typewriter.
Folk group Two Nice Girls named their album Chloe Liked Olivia after a key phrase in Woolf's A Room of One's Own.
Patrick Wolf's song "To the Lighthouse" was inspired by Woolf's novel.
The character Virginia Wolfe in Rocko's Modern Life is named after Woolf.
Regina Spektor references Virginia Woolf in her song Paris.
In Scrubs, Elliot cites Virginia Woolf as one of her favorite authors.
Javier Krahe, Spanish songwriter, references Virginia Woolf in the song Nembutal from his album Corral de Cuernos
Profesora, Swedish performance artist released a song called Virginia Woolf at her album.
The Murder City Devils, a rock and roll band, reference Virginia Woolf saying, "I think I'll call you Virginia Woolf."
In Destroy All Humans!, when at the Santa Monica level, if you scan a housewife's thought she says "I'm afraid of Virginia Woolf."
Ludovico Einaudi wrote, probably his most famous solo piano piece, "Le Onde" after reading an Italian translation of Woolf's The Waves.
The name of the American band Modest Mouse is derived from a passage from the story "The Mark on the Wall" which reads "...and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people..."
The Celtic rock band GrooveLily mentions Virginia Woolf in a live version of their song, "Screwed-Up People Make Great Art."
The feature film Notes on a Scandal (Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench) mentions Woolf during a scene where Blanchett screams, "It's a flat in the archway road and you think of friggin' Virginia Woolf!"

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Novels
The Voyage Out (1915)
Night and Day (1919)
Jacob's Room (1922)
Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
To the Lighthouse (1927)
Orlando: A Biography (1928)
The Waves (1931)
The Years (1937)
Between the Acts (1941)

[edit] Short fiction
Monday or Tuesday (1921 edition) (collection)
"A Haunted House"
"A Society"
"Monday or Tuesday"
"An Unwritten Novel"
"The String Quartet"
"Blue & Green"
"Kew Gardens"
"The Mark on the Wall"
A Haunted House and Other Short Stories (1944 edition) (collection)
"A Haunted House"
"Monday or Tuesday"
"An Unwritten Novel"
"The String Quartet"
"Kew Gardens"
"The Mark on the Wall"
"The New Dress"
"The Shooting Party"
"Lappin and Lappinova"
"Solid Objects"
"The Lady in the Looking-Glass"
"The Duchess and the Jeweller"
"Moments of Being: Slater's Pins have no Points"
"The Man who Loved his Kind"
"The Searchlight"
"The Legacy"
"Together and Apart"
"A Summing Up"
The Complete Shorter Fiction (1985 edition) (collection)
"Phyllis and Rosamond"
"The Mysterious Case of Miss V."
"The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn"
"A Dialogue upon Mount Pentelicus"
"Memoirs of a Novelist"
"The Mark on the Wall"
"Kew Gardens"
"The Evening Party"
"Solid Objects"
"An Unwritten Novel"
"A Haunted House"
"A Society"
"Monday or Tuesday"
"The String Quartet"
"Blue & Green"
"A Woman's College from Outside"
"In the Orchard"
"Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street"
"Nurse Lugton's Curtain"
"The Widow and the Parrot: A True Story"
"The New Dress"
"The Introduction"
"Together and Apart"
"The Man who Loved his Kind"
"A Simple Melody"
"A Summing Up"
"Moments of Being: Slater's Pins have no Points"
"The Lady in the Looking-Glass"
"The Fascination of the Pool"
"Three Pictures"
"Scenes from the Life of a British Naval Officer"
"Miss Pryme"
"Ode Written Partly in Prose"
"Uncle Vanya"
"The Duchess and the Jeweller"
"The Shooting Party"
"Lappin and Lappinova"
"The Searchlight"
"Gypsy, the Mongrel"
"The Legacy"
"The Symbol"
"The Watering Place"

[edit] Books sub-titled as "A Biography"
Apart from several essays containing biographical descriptions, Virginia Woolf published three books which she gave the subtitle "A Biography":

Orlando: A Biography (1928, usually characterised Novel, inspired by the life of Vita Sackville-West)
Flush: A Biography (1933, more explicitly cross-genre: fiction as "stream of consciousness" tale by Flush, a dog; non-fiction in the sense of telling the story of the owner of the dog, Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
Roger Fry: A Biography (1940, usually characterised non-fiction, however: "[Woolf's] novelistic skills worked against her talent as a biographer, for her impressionistic observations jostled uncomfortably with the simultaneous need to marshall a multitude of facts."[11])

[edit] Non-fiction
Modern Fiction (1919)
The Common Reader (1925)
'The Common Reader'
'The Pastors and Chaucer'
'On not knowing Greek'
'The Elizabethan Lumber Room'
'Notes on an Elizabethan Play'
'The Duchess of Newcastle'
'Rambling round Evelyn'
'Lives of the Obscure - Taylors and Edgeworths'
'Lives of the Obscure - Laetitia Pilkington'
'Jane Austen'
'Modern Fiction'
'Jayne Eyre' and 'Wuthering Heights'
'George Eliot'
'The Russian Point of View'
'Outlines - Miss Mitford'
'Outlines - Bentley'
'Outlines - Lady Dorothy Nevill'
'Outlines - Archbishop Thomson'
'The Patron and the Crocus'
'The Modern Essay'
'Joseph Conrad'
'How it strikes a Contemporary'
A Room of One's Own (1929)
On Being Ill (1930)
The London Scene (1931)
The Common Reader: Second Series (1932)
'The Strange Elizabethans'
'Donne After Three Centuries'
'"The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia"'
'"Robinson Crusoe"'
'Dorothy Osborne's "Letters"'
'Swift's "Journal of Stella"'
'The "Sentimental Journey"'
'Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son'
'Two Parsons: James Woodforde, John Skinner'
'Dr. Burney's Evening Party'
'Jack Mytton'
'De Quincey's Autobiography'
'Four Figures: Cowper and Lady Austen, Beau Brummell, Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth'
'William Hazlitt'
'Geraldine and Jane'
'"Aurora Leigh"'
'The Niece of an Earl'
'George Gissing'
'The Novels of George Meredith'
'"I am Christina Rossetti"'
'The Novels of Thomas Hardy'
'How Should One Read a Book?'
Three Guineas (1938)
The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942)
'The Death Of The Moth'
'Evening Over Sussex: Reflections in a Motor Car'
'Three Pictures'
'Old Mrs. Grey'
'Street Haunting: A London Adventure'
'"Twelfth Night" at the Old Vic'
'Madame de Sévigné'
'The Humane Art'
'Two Antiquaries: Walpole and Cole'
'The Rev. William Cole: A Letter'
'The Historian and "The Gibbon"'
'Reflections at Sheffield Place'
'The Man at the Gate'
'Sara Coleridge'
'"Not One Of Us"'
'Henry James'
'1. Within the Rim'
'2. The Old Order'
'3. The Letters of Henry James'
'George Moore'
'The Novels of E. M. Forster'
'The Art of Biography'
'A Letter to a Young Poet'
'Professions for Women'
'Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid'
The Moment and Other Essays (1947)
The Captain's Death Bed And Other Essays (1950)
'Oliver Goldsmith'
'White's Selborne'
'Life Itself'
'Selina Trimmer'
'The Captain's Death Bed'
'The Novels Of Turgenev'
'Half Of Thomas Hardy'
'Leslie Stephen'
'Mr. Conrad: A Conversation'
'The Cosmos'
'Walter Raleigh'
'Mr. Bennett And Mrs. Brown' (1924)
'All About Books'
'Modern Letters'
'The Cinema'
'Walter Sickert'
'Flying Over London'
'The Sun And The Fish'
'Thunder At Wembley'
'Memories Of A Working Women's Guild'
Women And Writing (1979)

[edit] Play
Freshwater: A Comedy - Play originally performed in 1923, revised in 1935, published in 1976 and then in 1985 (edited by Lucio P. Ruotolo, drawings by Edward Gorey)

[edit] Autobiography
A Writer’s Diary (1953) - Extracts from the complete diary
Moments of Being (1976)
A Moment's Liberty: the shorter diary (1990)
A Passionate Apprentice: the early journals (1990)
Congenial Spirits: the selected letters (1993)
The Diary of Virginia Woolf (five volumes) - Diary of Virginia Woolf from 1915 to 1941
The Flight of the Mind: Letters of Virginia Woolf vol 1 1888 - 1912 (1975)
The Question of Things Happening: Letters of Virginia Woolf vol 2 1913 - 1922 (1976)
A Change of Perspective: Letters of Virginia Woolf vol 3 1923 - 1928 (1977)
A Reflection of the Other Person: Letters of Virginia Woolf vol 4 1929 - 1931 (1978)
The Sickle Side of the Moon: Letters of Virginia Woolf vol 5 1932 - 1935 (1979)
Leave the Letters Till We're Dead: Letters of Virginia Woolf vol 6 1936 - 1941 (1980)
Passionate Apprentice: The Early Journals, 1897-1909 (1990)
Paper Darts: The Illustrated Letters of Virginia Woolf (1991)
Travels With Virginia Woolf (1993) - Greek travel diary of Virginia Woolf, edited by Jan Morris
The Platform of Time: Memoirs of Family and Friends, edited by S. P. Rosenbaum (London, Hesperus, 2007)

[edit] Biographies of Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf by Nigel Nicolson. New York, Penguin Group. 2000
Virginia Woolf: A Biography by Quentin Bell. New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972
The Unknown Virginia Woolf by Roger Poole. Cambridge UP, 1978.
The Invisible Presence: Virginia Woolf and the Mother-Daughter Relationship by Ellen Bayuk Rosenman. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1986.
Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work by Louise DeSalvo. Boston: Little Brown, 1989
A Virginia Woolf Chronology by Edward Bishop. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1989.
A Very Close Conspiracy: Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf by Jane Dunn. Boston: Little, Brown, 1990
Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life by Lyndall Gordon. New York: Norton, 1984; 1991.
The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness by Thomas D. Caramago. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1992
Virginia Woolf by James King. NY: W.W. Norton, 1994.
Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf by Panthea Reid. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.
Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee. New York: Knopf, 1997.
Granite and Rainbow: The Hidden Life of Virginia Woolf by Mitchell Leaska. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman by Ruth Gruber. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005
My Madness Saved Me: The Madness and Marriage of Virginia Woolf by Thomas Szasz, 2006
The Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury by Sarah M. Hall, New York: Continuum Publishing, 2007
A Life of One's Own: A Guide to Better Living through the Work and Wisdom of Virginia Woolf by Ilana Simons, New York: Penguin Press, 2007

[edit] Notes
^ Bell, Quentin: Virginia Woolf; a Biography, 1972
^ Lee, Hermione: "Virginia Woolf." Knopf, 1997.
^ Virginia Woolf. Retrieved on 2007-10-5.
^ Haule, J. (1982). Melymbrosia: An Early Version of "The Voyage out". Contemporary Literature, 23, 100-104.
^ [1]
^ Frances Spalding (ed.), Viginia Woolf: Paper Darts: the Illustrated Letters, Collins & Brown, 1991, (ISBN 1-85585-046-X) (hb) & (ISBN 1-85585-103-2) (pb), pp. 139-140

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft (pronounced /ˈwʊlstənkrɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and feminist. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.

Among the general public and specifically among feminists, Wollstonecraft's life has received much more attention than her writing because of her unconventional, and often tumultuous, personal relationships. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay, Wollstonecraft married the philosopher William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement; they had one daughter, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Wollstonecraft died at the age of thirty-eight due to complications from childbirth, leaving behind several unfinished manuscripts.

After Wollstonecraft's death, Godwin published a Memoir (1798) of her life, revealing her unorthodox lifestyle, which inadvertently destroyed her reputation for a century. However, with the emergence of the feminist movement at the turn of the twentieth century, Wollstonecraft's advocacy of women's equality and critiques of conventional femininity became increasingly important. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers and feminists often cite both her life and work as important influences.
Early life
Wollstonecraft was born on 27 April 1759 in Spitalfields, London. Although her family had a comfortable income when she was a child, her father gradually squandered it on speculative projects. Consequently, the family became financially unstable and they were frequently forced to move during Wollstonecraft's youth.[1] The family's financial situation eventually became so dire that Wollstonecraft's father compelled her to turn over money that she would have inherited at her maturity. Moreover, he was apparently a violent man who would beat his wife in drunken rages. As a teenager, Wollstonecraft used to lie outside the door of her mother's bedroom to protect her.[2] Wollstonecraft played a similar maternal role for her sisters, Everina and Eliza, throughout her life. For example, in a defining moment in 1784, she convinced Eliza, who was suffering from what was probably postpartum depression, to leave her husband and infant; Wollstonecraft made all of the arrangements for Eliza to flee, demonstrating her willingness to challenge social norms. The human costs, however, were severe: her sister suffered social condemnation and, because she could not remarry, was doomed to a life of poverty and hard work.[3]

Two friendships shaped Wollstonecraft's early life. The first was with Jane Arden in Beverley. The two frequently read books together and attended lectures presented by Arden's father, a self-styled philosopher and scientist. Wollstonecraft reveled in the intellectual atmosphere of the Arden household and valued her friendship with Arden greatly, sometimes to the point of being emotionally possessive. Wollstonecraft wrote to her: "I have formed romantic notions of friendship…I am a little singular in my thoughts of love and friendship; I must have the first place or none."[4] In some of Wollstonecraft's letters to Arden, she reveals the volatile and depressive emotions that would haunt her throughout her life.[5]

The second and more important friendship was with Fanny Blood, introduced to Wollstonecraft by the Clares, a couple in Hoxton who became parental figures to her; Wollstonecraft credited Blood with opening her mind.[6] Unhappy with her home life, Wollstonecraft struck out on her own in 1778 and accepted a job as a lady's companion to Sarah Dawson, a widow living in Bath. However, Wollstonecraft had trouble getting along with the irascible woman (an experience she drew on when describing the drawbacks of such a position in Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787)). In 1780 she returned home, called back to care for her dying mother.[7] Rather than return to Mrs. Dawson's employ after the death of her mother, Wollstonecraft moved in with the Bloods. She realized during the two years she spent with the family that she had idealized Blood—she was more invested in traditional feminine values than was Wollstonecraft. But Wollstonecraft remained dedicated to her and her family throughout her life (she frequently gave pecuniary assistance to Blood's brother, for example).[8]

Wollstonecraft had envisioned living in a female utopia with Blood; they made plans to rent rooms together and support each other emotionally and financially, but this dream collapsed under economic realities. In order to make a living, Wollstonecraft, her sisters, and Blood set up a school together in Newington Green, a Dissenting community. Blood soon became engaged and after their marriage her husband, Hugh Skeys, took her to Europe to improve her health—which had always been precarious.[9] Despite the change of surroundings Blood's health further deteriorated when she became pregnant, and in 1785 Wollstonecraft left the school and followed Blood to nurse her, but to no avail.[10] Moreover, her abandonment of the school led to its failure.[11] Blood's death devastated Wollstonecraft and was part of the inspiration for her first novel, Mary: A Fiction (1788).[12]

"The first of a new genus"

Frontispiece to the 1791 edition of Original Stories from Real Life (engraved by William Blake)After Blood's death, Wollstonecraft's friends helped her obtain a position as governess to the daughters of the Anglo-Irish Kingsborough family in Ireland. Although she could not get along with Lady Kingsborough,[13] the children found her an inspiring instructor; Margaret King would later say she "had freed her mind from all superstitions".[14] Some of Wollstonecraft's experiences during this year would make their way into her only children's book, Original Stories from Real Life (1788).[15]

Frustrated by the limited career options open to respectable yet poor women—an impediment which Wollstonecraft eloquently describes in the chapter of Thoughts on the Education of Daughters entitled "Unfortunate Situation of Females, Fashionably Educated, and Left Without a Fortune" — she decided, after only a year as a governess, to embark upon a career as an author. This was a radical choice, since, at the time, few women could support themselves by writing. As she wrote to her sister Everina in 1787, she was trying to become "the first of a new genus."[16] She moved to London and, assisted by the liberal publisher Joseph Johnson, found a place to live and work to support herself.[17] She learned French and German and translated texts,[18] most notably Of the Importance of Religious Opinions by Jacques Necker and Elements of Morality, for the Use of Children by Christian Gotthilf Salzmann. She also wrote reviews, primarily of novels, for Johnson's Analytical Review. Wollstonecraft's intellectual universe expanded during this time, not only from the reading that she did for her reviews but also from the company she kept: she attended Johnson's famous dinners and met such luminaries as Thomas Paine and William Godwin. The first time Godwin and Wollstonecraft met, they were both disappointed in each other. Godwin had come to hear Paine, but Wollstonecraft assailed him all night long, disagreeing with him on nearly every subject. Johnson himself, however, became much more than a friend; she described him in her letters as a father and a brother.[19]

While in London, Wollstonecraft pursued a relationship with the artist Henry Fuseli, even though he was already married. She was, she wrote, enraptured by his genius, "the grandeur of his soul, that quickness of comprehension, and lovely sympathy."[20] She proposed a platonic living arrangement with Fuseli and his wife, but Fuseli's wife was appalled, and he broke off the relationship with Wollstonecraft.[21] After Fuseli's rejection, Wollstonecraft decided to travel to France to escape the humiliation of the incident, and to participate in the revolutionary events that she had just celebrated in her recent Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790). She had written the Rights of Men in response to Edmund Burke's conservative critique of the French Revolution in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) and it made her famous overnight. She was compared with such leading lights as the theologian and controversialist Joseph Priestley and Paine, whose Rights of Man (1791) would prove to be the most popular of the responses to Burke. She pursued the ideas she had outlined in Rights of Men in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), her most famous and influential work.[22]

France and Gilbert Imlay

10th of August, attack on the Tuileries Palace; French revolutionary violence spreadsWollstonecraft left for Paris in December 1792 and arrived about a month before Louis XVI was guillotined. The country was in turmoil. She sought out other British visitors such as Helen Maria Williams and joined the circle of expatriates then in the city.[23] Having just written A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft was determined to put her ideas to the test, and in the stimulating intellectual atmosphere of the French revolution she attempted her most experimental romantic attachment yet: she met and fell passionately in love with Gilbert Imlay, an American adventurer. Whether or not Wollstonecraft was interested in marriage, Imlay was not, and Wollstonecraft appears to have fallen in love with an idealized portrait of the man. While Wollstonecraft had rejected the sexual component of relationships in the Rights of Woman, Imlay awakened her passions and her interest in sex.[24] Wollstonecraft soon became pregnant, and on 14 May 1794 she gave birth to her first child, Fanny, naming her after perhaps her closest friend.[25] Wollstonecraft was overjoyed with her baby; she wrote to a friend: "My little Girl begins to suck so MANFULLY that her father reckons saucily on her writing the second part of the R[igh]ts of Woman" (emphasis Wollstonecraft's).[26] Wollstonecraft continued to write avidly despite not only her pregnancy and the burdens of being a new mother alone in a foreign country but also the growing tumult of the French revolution. While at Le Havre in northern France, she wrote a history of the early revolution, An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution, which was published in London in December 1794.[27]

As the political situation worsened, Britain declared war on France, placing all British citizens in France in considerable danger. To protect Wollstonecraft, Imlay registered her as his wife in 1793, even though they were not married.[28] Some of Wollstonecraft's friends were not so lucky; many, like Thomas Paine, were arrested, and some were even guillotined (Wollstonecraft's sisters believed she had been imprisoned). After Wollstonecraft left France, she continued to refer to herself as Mrs. Imlay, even to her sisters, in order to bestow legitimacy upon her child.[29]

Imlay, unhappy with the domestic-minded and maternal Wollstonecraft, eventually left her. He promised that he would return to Le Havre where she went to give birth to her child, but his delays in writing to her and his long absences convinced Wollstonecraft that he had found another woman. Her letters to him are full of needy expostulations, explained by most critics as the expressions of a deeply depressed woman but by some as a result of her circumstances—alone with an infant in the middle of a revolution.[30]

England and William Godwin
Seeking Imlay, Wollstonecraft returned to London in April 1795, but he rejected her. In May 1795 she attempted to commit suicide, probably with laudanum, but Imlay saved her life (although it is unclear how).[31] In a last attempt to win back Imlay, she embarked upon some business negotiations for him in Scandinavia, trying to recoup some of his losses. Wollstonecraft undertook this hazardous trip with only her young daughter and a maid. She recounted her travels and thoughts in letters to Imlay, many of which were eventually published as Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in 1796.[32] When she returned to England and came to the full realization that her relationship with Imlay was over, she attempted suicide for the second time, leaving this note for Imlay:

Let my wrongs sleep with me! Soon, very soon, I shall be at peace. When you receive this, my burning head will be cold. . . . I shall plunge into the Thames where there is least chance of my being snatched from the death I seek. God bless you! May you never know by experience what you have made me endure. Should your sensibility ever awake, remorse will find its way to your heart; and, in the midst of business and sensual pleasure, I shall appear before you, the victim of your deviation from rectitude.[33]

William GodwinShe then went out on a rainy night and "to make her clothes heavy with water, she walked up and down about half an hour" before jumping into the Thames, but a stranger saw her jump and rescued her.[34] Wollstonecraft considered her suicide attempt deeply rational, writing after her rescue, "I have only to lament, that, when the bitterness of death was past, I was inhumanly brought back to life and misery. But a fixed determination is not to be baffled by disappointment; nor will I allow that to be a frantic attempt, which was one of the calmest acts of reason. In this respect, I am only accountable to myself. Did I care for what is termed reputation, it is by other circumstances that I should be dishonoured."[35]

Gradually, Wollstonecraft returned to her literary life, becoming involved with Joseph Johnson's circle again, in particular with Mary Hays, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Sarah Siddons through William Godwin. Godwin and Wollstonecraft's unique courtship began slowly, but it eventually became a passionate love affair.[36] Godwin had read her Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and later wrote that "If ever there was a book calculated to make a man in love with its author, this appears to me to be the book. She speaks of her sorrows, in a way that fills us with melancholy, and dissolves us in tenderness, at the same time that she displays a genius which commands all our admiration."[37] Once Wollstonecraft became pregnant, they decided to marry so that their child would be legitimate. Their marriage revealed the fact that Wollstonecraft had never been married to Imlay, and as a result she and Godwin lost many friends. Godwin received further criticism because he had advocated the abolition of marriage in his philosophical treatise Political Justice.[38] After their marriage on 29 March 1797, they moved into two adjoining houses, known as The Polygon, so that they could both still retain their independence; they often communicated by letter.[39] By all accounts, theirs was a happy and stable, though tragically brief, relationship.[40]

Death and Godwin's Memoirs

Godwin's Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798)On 30 August 1797, Wollstonecraft gave birth to her second daughter, Mary. Although the delivery seemed to go well initially, the placenta broke apart during the birth and became infected, a common occurrence in the eighteenth century. After several days of agony, Wollstonecraft died of septicemia on 10 September.[41] Godwin was devastated: he wrote to his friend Thomas Holcroft, "I firmly believe there does not exist her equal in the world. I know from experience we were formed to make each other happy. I have not the least expectation that I can now ever know happiness again."[42] She was buried at Old Saint Pancras Churchyard, and a memorial to her was constructed there, though both her and Godwin's remains were later moved to Bournemouth. Her tombstone reads, "Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: Born 27 April, 1759: Died 10 September, 1797."[43]

In January 1798 Godwin published his Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Although Godwin felt that he was portraying his wife with love, compassion, and sincerity, many readers were shocked that he would reveal Wollstonecraft's illegitimate children, love affairs, and suicide attempts.[44] Robert Southey accused him of "the want of all feeling in stripping his dead wife naked" and vicious satires such as The Unsex'd Females were published.[45] Godwin's Memoirs portrays Wollstonecraft as a woman deeply invested in feeling who was balanced by his reason and as more of a religious skeptic than her own writings suggest.[46] Godwin's views of Wollstonecraft were perpetuated throughout the nineteenth century and resulted in poems such as "Wollstonecraft and Fuseli" by British poet Robert Browning and that by William Roscoe which includes the lines:

Hard was thy fate in all the scenes of life

As daughter, sister, mother, friend, and wife;

But harder still, thy fate in death we own,

Thus mourn'd by Godwin with a heart of stone.[47]

Wollstonecraft has had what Cora Kaplan labels a "curious" legacy: "for an author-activist adept in many genres… up until the last quarter-century Wollstonecraft's life has been read much more closely than her writing".[48] After the devastating effect of Godwin's Memoirs, Wollstonecraft's reputation lay in tatters for a century; she was pilloried by such writers as Maria Edgeworth, who patterned the "freakish" Harriet Freke in Belinda (1801) after Wollstonecraft. Other novelists such as Mary Hays, Charlotte Smith, Fanny Burney and Jane West created similar figures, all to teach a "moral lesson" to their readers.[49] As Wollstonecraft scholar Virginia Sapiro makes clear, few read Wollstonecraft's works during the nineteenth century as "her attackers implied or stated that no self-respecting woman would read her work".[50] Only Lucretia Mott, an early American feminist, seems to have been influenced by Wollstonecraft's works.[51] According to Sapiro, "there is little indication that anyone who played a key role in women's history or feminism, other than Lucretia Mott, read Wollstonecraft's work seriously after her death until the twentieth century."[52] With the advent of the modern feminist movement, however, women as politically dissimilar from each other as Virginia Woolf and Emma Goldman embraced Wollstonecraft's life story and celebrated her "experiments in living", as Woolf termed them in a famous essay.[53] Many, however, continued to decry Wollstonecraft's lifestyle and her works were still ignored.

With the emergence of feminist criticism in academia in the 1960s and 1970s, Wollstonecraft's works returned to prominence. Their fortunes reflected that of the feminist movement itself; for example, in the early 1970s, six major biographies of Wollstonecraft were published that presented her "passionate life in apposition to [her] radical and rationalist agenda."[54] Wollstonecraft was seen as a paradoxical yet intriguing figure who did not adhere to the 1970s version of feminism—"the personal is the political." In the 1980s and 1990s, yet another image of Wollstonecraft emerged, one which described her as much more a creature of her time; scholars such as Claudia Johnson, Gary Kelly, and Virginia Sapiro demonstrated the continuity between Wollstonecraft's thought and other important eighteenth-century ideas regarding topics such as sensibility, economics, and political theory.

Wollstonecraft's work has also had an effect on feminism outside the academy in recent years. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a feminist who is critical of Islam's dictates regarding women, cited the Rights of Woman in her autobiography and wrote that she was "inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft, the pioneering feminist thinker who told women they had the same ability to reason as men did and deserved the same rights."[55]

Major works

Educational works

First page of the first edition of Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787)Main articles: Thoughts on the Education of Daughters and Original Stories from Real Life
The majority of Wollstonecraft's early productions centre around the topic of education; she assembled an anthology of literary extracts "for the improvement of young women" entitled The Female Reader and she translated two children's works, Maria Geertruida van de Werken de Cambon's Young Grandison and Christian Gotthilf Salzmann's Elements of Morality. Her own writings also addressed the topic. In both her conduct book Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787) and her children's book Original Stories from Real Life (1788), Wollstonecraft advocates educating children into the emerging middle-class ethos: self-discipline, honesty, frugality, and social contentment.[56] Both books also emphasize the importance of teaching children to reason, revealing Wollstonecraft's intellectual debt to the important seventeenth-century educational philosopher John Locke.[57] However, the prominence she affords religious faith and innate feeling distinguishes her work from his and links it to the discourse of sensibility popular at the end of the eighteenth century.[58] Both texts also advocate the education of women, a controversial topic at the time and one which she would return to throughout her career, most notably in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Wollstonecraft argues that well-educated women will be good wives and mothers and ultimately contribute positively to the nation.[59]


Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790)
Main article: A Vindication of the Rights of Men
Published in response to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), which was a defence of constitutional monarchy, aristocracy, and the Church of England, Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790) attacks aristocracy and advocates republicanism. Hers was the first response in a pamphlet war that subsequently became known as the Revolution Controversy, in which Thomas Paine's Rights of Man (1792) became the rallying cry for reformers and radicals.

Wollstonecraft not only attacked monarchy and hereditary privilege but also the language that Burke used to defend and elevate it. In a famous passage in the Reflections, Burke had lamented: "I had thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her [Marie Antoinette] with insult.—But the age of chivalry is gone."[60] Most of Burke's detractors deplored what they viewed as theatrical pity for the French queen—a pity they felt was at the expense of the people. Wollstonecraft was unique in her attack on Burke's gendered language. By redefining the sublime and the beautiful, terms first established by Burke himself in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1756), she undermined his rhetoric as well as his argument. Burke had associated the beautiful with weakness and femininity and the sublime with strength and masculinity; Wollstonecraft turns these definitions against him, arguing that his theatrical tableaux turn Burke's readers—the citizens—into weak women who are swayed by show.[61] In her first unabashedly feminist critique, which Wollstonecraft scholar Claudia L. Johnson argues remains unsurpassed in its argumentative force,[62] Wollstonecraft indicts Burke's defence of an unequal society founded on the passivity of women.

In her arguments for republican virtue, Wollstonecraft invokes an emerging middle-class ethos in opposition to what she views as the vice-ridden aristocratic code of manners.[63] Influenced by Enlightenment thinkers, she believed in progress and derides Burke for relying on tradition and custom. She argues for rationality, pointing out that Burke's system would lead to the continuation of slavery, simply because it had been an ancestral tradition.[64] She describes an idyllic country life in which each family can have a farm that will just suit its needs. Wollstonecraft contrasts her utopian picture of society, drawn with what she says is genuine feeling, to Burke's false feeling.[65]

The Rights of Men was Wollstonecraft's first overtly political work, as well as her first feminist work; as Johnson contends, "it seems that in the act of writing the later portions of Rights of Men she discovered the subject that would preoccupy her for the rest of her career".[66] It was this text that made her a well-known writer.

First American edition of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
Main article: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. In it, Wollstonecraft argues that women ought to have an education commensurate with their position in society and then proceeds to redefine that position, claiming that women are essential to the nation because they educate its children and because they could be "companions" to their husbands, rather than mere wives.[67] Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage, Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men. Large sections of the Rights of Woman respond vitriolically to conduct book writers such as James Fordyce and John Gregory and educational philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wanted to deny women an education. (Rousseau famously argues in Émile (1762) that women should be educated for the pleasure of men.)[68]

Wollstonecraft states that currently many women are silly and superficial (she refers to them, for example, as "spaniels" and "toys"[69]), but argues that this is not because of an innate deficiency of mind but rather because men have denied them access to education. Wollstonecraft is intent on illustrating the limitations that women's deficient educations have placed on them; she writes: "Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and, roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison."[70] She implies that, without the encouragement young women receive from an early age to focus their attention on beauty and outward accomplishments, women could achieve much more.[71]

While Wollstonecraft does call for equality between the sexes in particular areas of life, such as morality, she does not explicitly state that men and women are equal.[72] What she does claim is that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. However, such claims of equality stand in contrast to her statements respecting the superiority of masculine strength and valour.[73] Wollstonecraft famously and ambiguously writes: "Let it not be concluded that I wish to invert the order of things; I have already granted, that, from the constitution of their bodies, men seem to be designed by Providence to attain a greater degree of virtue. I speak collectively of the whole sex; but I see not the shadow of a reason to conclude that their virtues should differ in respect to their nature. In fact, how can they, if virtue has only one eternal standard? I must therefore, if I reason consequentially, as strenuously maintain that they have the same simple direction, as that there is a God."[74] Her ambiguous statements regarding the equality of the sexes have since made it difficult to classify Wollstonecraft as a modern feminist, particularly since the word and the concept were unavailable to her.[75]

One of Wollstonecraft's most scathing critiques in the Rights of Woman is of false and excessive sensibility, particularly in women. She argues that women who succumb to sensibility are "blown about by every momentary gust of feeling" and because they are "the prey of their senses" they cannot think rationally.[76] In fact, she claims, they do harm not only to themselves but to the entire civilization: these are not women who can help refine a civilization—a popular eighteenth-century idea—but women who will destroy it. Wollstonecraft does not argue that reason and feeling should act independently of each other; rather, she believes that they should inform each other.[77]

In addition to her larger philosophical arguments, Wollstonecraft also lays out a specific educational plan. In the twelfth chapter of the Rights of Woman, "On National Education", she argues that all children should be sent to a "country day school" as well as given some education at home "to inspire a love of home and domestic pleasures." She also maintains that schooling should be co-educational, arguing that men and women, whose marriages are "the cement of society", should be "educated after the same model."[78]

Wollstonecraft addresses her text to the middle-class, which she describes as the "most natural state", and in many ways the Rights of Woman is inflected by a bourgeois view of the world.[79] It encourages modesty and industry in its readers and attacks the uselessness of the aristocracy. But Wollstonecraft is not necessarily a friend to the poor; for example, in her national plan for education, she suggests that, after the age of nine, the poor, except for those who are brilliant, should be separated from the rich and taught in another school.[80]


Otto Scholderer's Young Girl Reading (1883); in both Mary and The Wrongs of Woman, Wollstonecraft criticizes women who imagine themselves as sentimental heroines.Main articles: Mary: A Fiction and Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman
Both of Wollstonecraft's novels criticize what she viewed as the patriarchal institution of marriage and its deleterious effects on women. In her first novel, Mary: A Fiction (1788), the eponymous heroine is forced into a loveless marriage for economic reasons; she fulfils her desire for love and affection outside of marriage with two passionate romantic friendships, one with a woman and one with a man. Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798), an unfinished novel published posthumously and often considered Wollstonecraft's most radical feminist work,[81] revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband; like Mary, Maria also finds fulfilment outside of marriage, in an affair with a fellow inmate and a friendship with one of her keepers. Neither of Wollstonecraft's novels depict successful marriages, although she posits such relationships in the Rights of Woman. At the end of Mary, the heroine believes she is going "to that world where there is neither marrying, nor giving in marriage,"[82] presumably a positive state of affairs.[83]

Both of Wollstonecraft's novels also critique the discourse of sensibility, a moral philosophy and aesthetic that had become popular at the end of the eighteenth century. Mary is itself a novel of sensibility and Wollstonecraft attempts to use the tropes of that genre to undermine sentimentalism itself, a philosophy she believed was damaging to women because it encouraged them to rely overmuch on their emotions. In The Wrongs of Woman the heroine's indulgence on romantic fantasies fostered by novels themselves is depicted as particularly detrimental.[84]

Female friendships are central to both of Wollstonecraft's novels, but it is the friendship between Maria and Jemima, the servant charged with watching over her in the insane asylum, that is the most historically significant. This friendship, based on a sympathetic bond of motherhood, between an upper-class woman and a lower-class woman is one of the first moments in the history of feminist literature that hints at a cross-class argument, that is, that women of different economic positions have the same interests because they are women.[85]

"The wanderer above the sea of fog" by Caspar David Friedrich (1818); depicting the sublime
Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796)
Main article: Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark
Wollstonecraft's Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is a deeply personal travel narrative. The twenty-five letters cover a wide range of topics, from sociological reflections on Scandinavia and its peoples to philosophical questions regarding identity to musings on her relationship with Imlay (although he is not referred to by name in the text). Using the rhetoric of the sublime, Wollstonecraft explores the relationship between the self and society. Reflecting the strong influence of Rousseau, Letters Written in Sweden shares similar themes with Reveries of a Solitary Walker (1782): "the search for the source of human happiness, the stoic rejection of material goods, the ecstatic embrace of nature, and the essential role of sentiment in understanding".[86] While Rousseau ultimately rejects society, however, Wollstonecraft celebrates domestic scenes and industrial progress in her text.[87]

Wollstonecraft promotes subjective experience, particularly in relation to nature, exploring the connections between the sublime and sensibility. Many of the letters describe the breathtaking scenery of Scandinavia and Wollstonecraft's desire to create an emotional connection to that natural world. In so doing, she gives greater value to the imagination than she had in previous works.[88] As in her previous works, she champions the liberation and education of women.[89] In a change from her earlier works, however, she illustrates the detrimental effects of commerce on society, contrasting the imaginative connection to the world with a commercial and mercenary one, an attitude she associates with Imlay.[90]

Letters Written in Sweden was Wollstonecraft's most popular book in the 1790s—it sold well and was reviewed positively by most critics. Godwin wrote "if ever there was a book calculated to make a man in love with its author, this appears to me to be the book."[91] It influenced Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who drew on its themes and its aesthetic.[92]

See also
Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft
Godwin-Shelly family tree

List of works
This is a complete list of Mary Wollstonecraft's works; all works are the first edition and were authored by Wollstonecraft unless otherwise noted.[93]

—. Thoughts on the Education of Daughters: With Reflections on Female Conduct, in the More Important Duties of Life. London: Joseph Johnson, 1787.
—. Mary: A Fiction. London: Joseph Johnson, 1788.
—. Original Stories from Real Life: With Conversations Calculated to Regulate the Affections and Form the Mind to Truth and Goodness. London: Joseph Johnson, 1788.
Necker, Jacques. Of the Importance of Religious Opinions. Trans. Mary Wollstonecraft. London: Joseph Johnson, 1788.
—. The Female Reader: Or, Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Verse; selected from the best writers, and disposed under proper heads; for the improvement of young women. By Mr. Cresswick, teacher of elocution [Mary Wollstonecraft]. To which is prefixed a preface, containing some hints on female education. London: Joseph Johnson, 1789.
de Cambon, Maria Geertruida van de Werken. Young Grandison. A Series of Letters from Young Persons to Their Friends. Trans. Mary Wollstonecraft. London: Joseph Johnson, 1790.
Salzmann, Christian Gotthilf. Elements of Morality, for the Use of Children; with an introductory address to parents. Trans. Mary Wollstonecraft. London: Joseph Johnson, 1790.
—. A Vindication of the Rights of Men, in a Letter to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. London: Joseph Johnson, 1790.
—. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Moral and Political Subjects. London: Joseph Johnson, 1792.
—. "On the Prevailing Opinion of a Sexual Character in Women, with Strictures on Dr. Gregory's Legacy to His Daughters". New Annual Register (1792): 457–466. [From Rights of Woman]
—. An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution; and the Effect It Has produced in Europe. London: Joseph Johnson, 1794.
—. Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. London: Joseph Johnson, 1796.
—. "On Poetry, and Our Relish for the Beauties of Nature". Monthly Magazine (April 1797).
—. The Wrongs of Woman, or Maria. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798. [Published posthumously; unfinished]
—. "The Cave of Fancy". Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798. [Published posthumously; fragment written in 1787]
—. "Letter on the Present Character of the French Nation". Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798. [Published posthumously; written in 1793]
—. "Fragment of Letters on the Management of Infants". Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798. [Published posthumously; unfinished]
—. "Lessons". Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798. [Published posthumously; unfinished]
—. "Hints". Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ed. William Godwin. London: Joseph Johnson, 1798. [Published posthumously; notes on the second volume of Rights of Woman, never written]
—. Contributions to the Analytical Review (1788–1797) [published anonymously]

^ Tomalin, 9, 17, 24, 27; Sunstein, 11.
^ Todd, 1; Tomalin, 19; Wardle, 6; Sunstein, 16.
^ Todd, 45–57; Tomalin, 34–43; Wardle, 27–30; Sunstein, 80-91.
^ Quoted in Todd, 16.
^ See, for example, Todd, 72–75; Tomalin, 18–21; Sunstein, 22-33.
^ Todd, 22–24; Tomalin, 25–27; Wardle, 10–11; Sunstein, 39-42.
^ Wardle, 12–18; Sunstein 51-57.
^ Wardle, 20; Sunstein, 73-76.
^ Todd, 62; Wardle, 30–32; Sunstein, 92-102.
^ Todd, 68–69; Tomalin, 52ff; Wardle, 43–45; Sunstein, 103-106.
^ Tomalin, 54–57.
^ See Wardle, chapter 2, for autobiographical elements of Mary; see Sunstein, chapter 7.
^ See, for example, Todd, 106–7; Tomalin, 66; 79–80; Sunstein, 127-28.
^ Todd, 116.
^ Tomalin, 64–88; Wardle, 60ff; Sunstein, 160-61.
^ Wollstonecraft, The Collected Letters, 139; see also Sunstein, 154.
^ Todd, 123; Tomalin, 91–92; Wardle, 80–82; Sunstein, 151-55.
^ Todd, 134–35.
^ Tomalin, 89–109; Wardle, 92–94; 128; Sunstein, 171-75.
^ Quoted in Todd, 153.
^ Todd, 197–98; Tomalin 151–52; Wardle, 171–73; 76–77; Sunstein, 220-22.
^ Tomalin, 144–155; Wardle, 115ff; Sunstein, 192-202.
^ Todd, 214–15; Tomalin, 156–82; Wardle, 179–84.
^ Todd, 232–36; Tomalin, 185–86; Wardle, 185–88; Sunstein, 235-45.
^ Tomalin, 218; Wardle, 202–3; Sunstein, 256-57.
^ Qtd. in Wardle, 202.
^ Tomalin, 211–219; Wardle, 206–14; Sunstein, 254-55.
^ St Clair, 160; Wardle, 192–93; Sunstein, 262-63.
^ Tomalin, 225.
^ Todd, Chapter 25; Tomalin, 220–31; Wardle, 215ff; Sunstein, 262ff.
^ Todd, 286–87; Wardle, 225.
^ Tomalin, 225–31; Wardle, 226–44; Sunstein, 277-90.
^ Wollstonecraft, The Collected Letters, 326.
^ Todd, 355–56; Tomalin, 232–36; Wardle, 245–46.
^ Quoted in Todd, 357.
^ St. Clair, 164–69; Tomalin, 245–70; Wardle, 268ff; Sunstein, 314-20.
^ Godwin, 95.
^ St. Clair, 172–74; Tomalin, 271–73; Sunstein, 330-35.
^ Sunstein has printed several of these letters in order so that the reader can follow Wollstonecraft and Godwin's conversation (321ff.)
^ St. Clair, 173; Wardle, 286–92; Sunstein, 335-40.
^ Todd, 450–56; Tomalin, 275–83; Wardle, 302–306; Sunstein, 342-47.
^ Quoted in C. Paul Kegan, William Godwin: His Friends and Contemporaries, London: Henry S. King and Co. (1876). Retrieved on March 11, 2007
^ Todd, 457.
^ St. Clair, 182–88; Tomalin, 289–97; Sunstein, 349-51; Sapiro, 272.
^ Robert Southey to William Taylor, July 1, 1804. A Memoir of the Life and Writings of William Taylor of Norwich. Ed. J. W. Robberds. 2 vols. London: John Murray (1824) 1:504.
^ Sapiro, 273-74.
^ Qtd. in Sapiro, 273.
^ Kaplan, "Wollstonecraft's reception", 247.
^ Favret, 131–32.
^ Sapiro, 274.
^ Sapiro, 276-77.
^ Sapiro, 277.
^ Woolf, Virginia. "The Four Figures". (updated June 4, 2004) Retrieved on March 11, 2007.
^ Kaplan, "Wollstonecraft's reception", 254; Sapiro, 278-79.
^ Hirsi Ali, Ayaan. Infidel. New York: Free Press (2007), 295.
^ Jones, "Literature of advice", 122-26; Kelly, 58-59.
^ Richardson, 24-27; Myers, "Impeccable Governesses", 38.
^ Jones, "Literature of advice", 124-29; Richardson, 24-27.
^ Richardson, 25–27; Jones, "Literature of advice", 124; Myers, "Impeccable Governesses", 37-39.
^ Qtd. in Butler, 44.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 45; Johnson, 26; Sapiro, 121-22; Kelly, 90; 97-98.
^ Johnson, 27; see also, Todd, 165.
^ Sapiro, 83; Kelly, 94-95; Todd, 164.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 44.
^ Jones, "Political tradition", 44-46; Sapiro, 216.
^ Johnson, 29.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 192.
^ Kelly, 123; 126; Taylor, 14-15; Sapiro, 27-28; 13-31; 243-44.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 144.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 157.
^ Kelly, 124-26; Taylor, 14-15.
^ See, for example Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 126, 146.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 110.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 135.
^ The words feminist and feminism did not come into existence until the 1890s. Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved on 17 September 2007; see Taylor, 12; 55-57; 105-106; 118-20; Sapiro, 257-59.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 177.
^ Jones, 46.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, Chapter 12; see also Kelly, 124-25; 133-34; Sapiro, 237ff.
^ Kelly, 128ff; Taylor, 167-68; Sapiro, 27.
^ Wollstonecraft, Vindications, 311; see also Taylor, 159-61; Sapiro, 91-92.
^ Taylor, Chapter 9.
^ Wollstonecraft, Mary, 68.
^ Poovey, 100-101; Taylor, 232-33.
^ Johnson, 60; 65-66; Kelly, 44; Poovey, 89; Taylor, 135; Todd, Women's Friendship, 210-11.
^ Todd, Women's Friendships, 208; 221-22; Johnson, 67–68; Taylor, 233; 243–44; Sapiro, 155.
^ Favret, 104; Sapiro, 286-87.
^ Favret, 105–106.
^ Myers, "Wollstonecraft's Letters", 167; 180; Poovey, 83-84; 106; Kelly, 189-90.
^ Myers, "Wollstonecraft's Letters", 174; Favret, 96; 120; 127.
^ Favret, 119ff; Poovey, 93; Myers, "Wollstonecraft's Letters", 177; Kelly, 179-181.
^ Godwin, 95.
^ Todd, 367; Kaplan, "Mary Wollstonecraft's reception", 262; Sapiro, 35; Favret, 128.
^ Sapiro, 341ff.


Primary works
Butler, Marilyn, ed. Burke, Paine, Godwin, and the Revolution Controversy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-28656-5.
Wollstonecraft, Mary. The Collected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft. Ed. Janet Todd. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-231-13142-9.
Wollstonecraft, Mary. The Complete Works of Mary Wollstonecraft. Ed. Janet Todd and Marilyn Butler. 7 vols. London: William Pickering, 1989. ISBN 0-8147-9225-1.
Wollstonecraft, Mary. The Vindications: The Rights of Men and The Rights of Woman. Eds. D.L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf. Toronto: Broadview Literary Texts, 1997. ISBN 1-55111-088-1.

Flexner, Eleanor. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Biography. New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1972. ISBN 0-6981-0447-1.
Godwin, William. Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Eds. Pamela Clemit and Gina Luria Walker. Peterborough: Broadview Press Ltd., 2001. ISBN 1-55111-259-0.
Hays, Mary. "Memoirs of Mary Wollstonecraft". Annual Necrology (1797–98): 411–460.
St Clair, William. The Godwins and the Shelleys: The biography of a family. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1989. ISBN 0-8018-4233-6.
Sunstein, Emily. A Different Face: the Life of Mary Wollstonecraft. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1975. ISBN 0-06-014201-4.
Todd, Janet. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2000. ISBN 0-231-12184-9.
Tomalin, Claire. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft. Rev. ed. New York: Penguin, 1992. ISBN 0-14-016761-7.
Wardle, Ralph M. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Critical Biography. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1951.

Other secondary works
Conger, Syndy McMillen. Mary Wollstonecraft and the Language of Sensibility. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8386-3553-9.
Falco, Maria J., ed. Feminist Interpretations of Mary Wollstonecraft. University Park: Penn State Press, 1996. ISBN 0-271-01493-8.
Favret, Mary. Romantic Correspondence: Women, politics and the fiction of letters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-521-41096-7.
Janes, R.M. "On the Reception of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman". Journal of the History of Ideas 39 (1978): 293–302.
Johnson, Claudia L. Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender, and Sentimentality in the 1790s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. ISBN 0-226-401847.
Jones, Chris. "Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindications and their political tradition". The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft. Ed. Claudia L. Johnson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-78952-4.
Jones, Vivien. "Mary Wollstonecraft and the literature of advice and instruction". The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft. Ed. Claudia Johnson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-78952-4.
Kaplan, Cora. "Mary Wollstonecraft's reception and legacies". The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft Ed. Claudia L. Johnson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-78952-4.
Kaplan, Cora. "Pandora's Box: Subjectivity, Class and Sexuality in Socialist Feminist Criticism". Sea Changes: Essays on Culture and Feminism. London: Verso, 1986. ISBN 0-86091-151-9.
Kaplan, Cora. "Wild Nights: Pleasure/Sexuality/Feminism". Sea Changes: Essays on Culture and Feminism. London: Verso, 1986. ISBN 0-86091-151-9.
Kelly, Gary. Revolutionary Feminism: The Mind and Career of Mary Wollstonecraft. New York: St. Martin's, 1992. ISBN 0-312-12904-1.
Myers, Mitzi. "Impeccable Governess, Rational Dames, and Moral Mothers: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Female Tradition in Georgian Children's Books". Children's Literature 14 (1986):31–59.
Myers, Mitzi. "Sensibility and the 'Walk of Reason': Mary Wollstonecraft's Literary Reviews as Cultural Critique". Sensibility in Transformation: Creative Resistance to Sentiment from the Augustans to the Romantics. Ed. Syndy Conger Mcmillen. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8386-3352-8.
Myers, Mitzi. "Wollstonecraft's Letters Written . . . in Sweden: Towards Romantic Autobiography". Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 8 (1979): 165-85.
Poovey, Mary. The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Jane Austen. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984. ISBN 0-226-67528-9.
Richardson, Alan. "Mary Wollstonecraft on education". The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft. Ed. Claudia Johnson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-78952-4.
Sapiro, Virginia. A Vindication of Political Virtue: The Political Theory of Mary Wollstonecraft. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. ISBN 0-226-73491-9.
Taylor, Barbara. Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-66144-7.
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