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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 28, 2016
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Victim of Prejudice cover

The Victim of Prejudice

Mary Hays.  The Victim of Prejudice.  Ed.  Eleanor Ty.  Peterborough:  Broadview Press, 1998.

"Mary Hays' passionate tale of a girl who is raped but refuses to marry her seducer offers a powerful alternative to Victorian constructions of the 'fallen woman.' This early feminist novel, here judiciously edited by Eleanor Ty, should be read by anyone interested in the literary history of the sexualized female, in Women's Studies, or in British Romantic Literature."

Anne K. Mellor, Professor of English & Women's Studies, UCLA

Mary Hays was an outspoken Radical intellectual in the turbulent decade of the 1790s. She argued vehemently for the need to recognise the moral and rational qualities in women, the necessity of a better system of education for girls, and the importance of giving women without fortunes a career without 'servitide in prostitution.

'The Victim of Prejudice is of great interest for its strong feminist content, and it is both powerful and moving as a literary work; this edition makes this important late eighteenth-centiry text again available to a wide readership. -- Hays' second novel, first published in 1799 -- is a powerful indictment of man- made institutions such as the courts and legislative systems which favour persons of wealth and rank. In the novel the metaphor of women's confinement becomes real as the heroine's worst nightmares, her horrors and sense of helplessness become physical reality.

Available from Broadview Press

ISBN 1-55111-217-5