"The first of a new genus": Mary Wollstonecraft as a literary critic and mentor to Mary Hays
Waters, Mary A.
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"The first of a new genus": Mary Wollstonecraft as a literary critic and mentor to Mary Hays Waters, Mary A. Eighteenth-Century Studies, Volume 37, Number 3, Spring 2004, pp. 415-434 (Article) Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press DOI: 10.1353/ecs.2004.0037
Mary Wollstonecraft's work for Joseph Johnson's Analytical Review stands as a landmark in the changing occupations available to women writers during the late eighteenth century. Study of this work facilitates a clearer understanding of both Wollstonecraft's intellectual development and the material and social circumstances that facilitated her access to the sorts of literary work that had been mostly the province of men. As she developed broader areas of reviewing competence, Wollstonecraft also took on wider responsibilities with the Analytical Review and possibly Johnson's bookselling business as well. When she found herself in a position to offer professional mentoring to Mary Hays, Wollstonecraft provided Hays with opportunities for literary work and advised her on the credible public presentation of herself as a woman author. While this assistance did not lead to permanent literary employment for Hays, it did offer a significant boost to her literary career.