"The art of travelling is only a branch of the art of thinking," Mary Wollstonecraft wrote in 1790 in a review of a travel narrative set in Ireland. A Short Residence was her own travel memoir, and became the work that Wollstonecraft most admired in her own lifetime. The text narrates Wollstonecraft's journey through Scandinavia, accompanied by her young daughter; the letters are addressed to an unnamed lover. Passionate and personal, the letters also explore the comparative political and social systems of Europe. The result is a travel book that is both as much a work of political thought as Wollstonecraft's more well-known treatises, and an innovative and influential work in the genre.
This Broadview Edition provides a helpful introduction and extensive appendices that contextualise this remarkable text in relation to a number of key political and aesthetic debates.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an English political philosopher, novelist, and travel writer. Her Vindication of the Rights of Woman is considered a foundational text of modern feminism. Ingrid Horrocks is Lecturer, School of English and Media Studies, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.