London: George Redway, 1897. First edition. A large copy with edges untrimmed. Contemporary ink signature to front flyleaf (Edmund C. Barnett). Foxing to endpapers and first and last few leaves. Otherwise quite clean throughout. A good, tight copy of this collection of the author’s “most important feminist articles.”. Publisher’s brown cloth stamped in gilt. Light soiling to cloth and rubbing to head of spine. Octavvo. xvi, 239 pp. Item #16965
“With its belief that legal, social and political equality would effect change from within…The Morality of Marriage and Other Essays (1897), [is] a collection of [Mona Caird’s] most important feminist articles…Caird’s work explores the themes most characteristic of the time: rights (of citizenship) versus duties (morality, rationality); the nature of womanhood (equal or different?); the sexual division of labour; and independence versus protection (e.g., relating to employment laws). “Writing from within a tradition of Enlightenment thought, Caird asserted women’s right to full citizenship and their duty to respect…their own freedom. Although equal by nature, women and men had been made different through nurture. Women’s artificial and debilitating difference resulted from the separation of spheres and women’s enforced dependency on and subordination to men: in other words, from their slave-status under patriarchy. Though casting herself as a mere reformer and meliorist…Caird called for nothing less than a revolution,” (Heilmann, p. 73).
Alice Mona Caird (1854 – 1932) was a journalist, experimental novelist, and feminist whose work “stimulated widespread discussion of such controversial subjects as undesired marital sex, birth control, unwanted pregnancy, single motherhood, wages for housework, public childcare, free relationships and the right to adultery after marital breakdown,” (Heilmann, “Mona Caird (1854 - 1932).” Women’s History Review, vol. 5, no. 1, 1996. p. 67).