Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men, to Retain them in Political, and Thence in Civil and Domestic, Slavery; in Reply to a Paragraph of Mr. Mill's Celebrated 'Article on government'.

THOMPSON William.; WHEELER Anna. (1825.)

£6500.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. 8vo. xvi, 221, [3] pp. Original quarter green cloth with drab boards, printed paper label to spine, edges untrimmed (bookplate of 'W.P. Hurst' to front pastedown, dampstain to top fore-corner of preliminaries and terminal leaves, some occasional spotting and browning throughout; boards heavily rubbed and bumped, spine worn at head and tail, spine label chipped with loss to text). London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green.

A milestone in the history of feminism and 'one of the classics of early nineteenth-century feminist literature' (ODNB), described as 'the first detailed statement of socialist feminism’ (Dolores Dooley) - an unsophisticated copy, uncut in the original boards, rare as such.

The Appeal was a collaboration between the socialist economist William Thompson (1775-1833) and philosopher Anna Wheeler (1785?–1848), who acted as a silent contributor; Wheeler's contribution to the writing is acknowledged in Thompson's 'Introductory Letter to Mrs Wheeler' which opens the text.

The authors, both of Irish descent, were closely associated with the co-operative movement and deeply influenced by the utopian socialism of Henri de Saint-Simon and the communitarianism of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier. The impetus to produce the treatise had been provided in part as 'a challenge to utilitarians who looked for universal happiness but excluded women, half the human race' (ODNB). Thompson and Wheeler particularly took aim at James Mill, father of John Stuart Mill, for his rejection of political rights for women in his famous Article on Government in the Encyclopedia Britannica. 'Mill, in less than a sentence, had dismissed women's rights as unnecessary, since their interests were represented or "covered" by their husbands or fathers' (Margaret McFadden, p. 94).

'The book champions not just political, but also civil rights for women: equitable laws, educational opportunities, reform of marriage customs, and so on. Concomitant with this advocacy, the text also recommends the abolition of the system of “individual competition” - in other words, capitalism - and its replacement of “mutual cooperation”.' (Abbie L. Corry, p. 106). “No book published before his time on this subject, even the famous work of Mary Wollstonecraft, is at once so broad and comprehensive and so direct and practical as Thompson’s [and Wheeler's] Appeal” (Richard K. P. Pankhurst).

Rare. Relatively well-held institutionally, but significantly rare commercially, with RareBookHub listing a single copy to have appeared at auction (Christies 2013/2014).

See: Dolores Dooley, 'Introduction' to William Thompson's Appeal (1825); Margaret McFadden, 'Anna Doyle Wheeler (1785-1848): Philosopher, Socialist, Feminist'; Abbie L. Cory, 'Wheeler and Thompson's "Appeal": The Rhetorical Re-Visioning of Gender'; Richard K. P. Pankhurst, William Thompson: Britain’s Pioneer Socialist, Feminist, and Co-operator.

Goldsmiths’, 24707.

Stock Code: 249977

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