A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

by

Mary Wollstonecraft

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James Fordyce Character Analysis

Fordyce (1720-1796) was a Scottish Presbyterian minister who was popular in London in the 1760s and 1770s, known especially for his rhetorical skill and emphasis on topics relevant to daily life. He is best known for the sermon collection published in 1766 as Sermons for Young Women, which Wollstonecraft scathingly attacks in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

James Fordyce Quotes in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

The A Vindication of the Rights of Woman quotes below are all either spoken by James Fordyce or refer to James Fordyce. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Education and Virtue Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman published in 1996.
Chapter 5 Quotes

I particularly object to the lover-like phrases of pumped up passion, which are every where interspersed. If women be ever allowed to walk without leading-strings, why must they be cajoled into virtue by artful flattery and sexual compliments? — Speak to them the language of truth and soberness, and away with the lullaby strains of condescending endearment! Let them be taught to respect themselves as rational creatures, and not led to have a passion for their own insipid persons. It moves my gall to hear a preacher descanting on dress and needle-work; and still more, to hear him address the British fair, the fairest of the fair, as if they had only feelings.

Related Characters: Mary Wollstonecraft (speaker), James Fordyce
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:
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James Fordyce Character Timeline in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

The timeline below shows where the character James Fordyce appears in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Education and Virtue Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
The Primacy of Reason Theme Icon
Women’s Roles in Society Theme Icon
Wollstonecraft next takes up James Fordyce ’s Sermons to Young Women. She complains that that the writer’s exhortations “[melt] every human... (full context)