The Memoirs of Emma Courtney provide much food for thought. I especially enjoy reading Hays’ exclamations on the unfairness towards women at the time. She truly seems a great author to read as a companion to Mary Wollstonecraft:
Cruel prejudices! – I exclaimed – hapless woman! Why was I not educated for commerce, for a profession, for labour? Why have I been rendered feeble and delicate by bodily constraint, and fastidous by artificial refinement? Why are we bound, by the habits of society, as with an adamantine chain? Why do we suffer ourselves to be confined within a migic circle, without daring, by a magnanimous effort, to dissolve the barbarous spell?