Brooks, Marilyn L.
About the author: Marilyn Brooks has taught a range of courses in literature, the Enlightenment, and women’s studies. She has worked for a variety of American and British universities before taking up a full-time position with the Open University in the Literature Department. She is now retired and living in the South of France where she continues to write.2004 0-7734-6357-7
Mary Hays is known for her literary works and as a formidable member of radical circles in the late eighteenth century. Her letters help the reader understand the extent of her engagement with contemporary issues and how these were voiced in her writings. Until now no full edition of the letters has appeared and earlier selections were greatly abridged. This new edition of almost 400 letters reaffirms Hays’ position within literary and radical circles and provides an important background against which to assess the importance of her writings. Because letters from as well as to Hays are included, we are able to see how much her opinions were sought and assess her importance within sensibility, rational philosophy and the development of feminism.