Translations of The Wrongs of Woman, or Maria

The Wrongs of Woman, or Maria is Mary Wollstonecraft’s unfinished novel, first published in 1798, just one year after her death. It appeared as the initial two volumes of her Posthumous Works, and in the same year was reprinted in Dublin. In Philadelphia, it was published separately in 1799. It is still in print today. It is studied and widely regarded on a variety of levels: as among the earliest form of the feminist novel, for example.

Within seventeen years after publication, The Wrongs of Woman, or Maria was published in French, German, and Italian. These have been little studied. Recently purchased for the collections were the first French translation (1798) and the first dated Italian translation (1815). Only a very few American libraries hold the French. Our purchase of the Italian is the only recorded copy in an American library
Call number for the French: Ex Item 5943134; for the Italian: Ex Item 5950717.

Note the frontispieces. The French is directly taken from the English original. Whereas, the Italian is completely different; rather than the author, it portrays the character Maria. The caption “Sol per te mia figlia me rincresce il morire” renders Maria’s words in the final scene “The conflict is over – I will live for my child!”