Dieser durch verschiedene Ich-Rollen, gebrochene Roman, in dem satirisch bis ernsthaft über das Schreiben reflektiert wird, war sein bekanntestes und renommiertestes zeitgenössisches Werk. Es wurde in den literarischen Kreisen und deren Publikationen hoch geschätzt. Sowohl Goethe und Schiller wie auch später Jean Paul haben sich mit dieser Arbeit, die eine literarische Modewelle der Ich-Erzählungen ausgelöst hatte, beschäftigt.
In 1792, the same year as the appearance of Mary Wollstonecraft's "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman," an anonymous treatise was published in German using Enlightenment principles to argue for equal rights for women in the domestic, political and religious spheres. The author was later revealed to be Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel, a friend of Kant and governing mayor of Koenigsberg, who, unlike Wollstonecraft, appealed mainly to men to loosen the bonds of women. The work also contained perhaps the first anthropological study examining the origin of the dominance of men.
Translated into English as "On Improving the Status of Women," the work appears here for the first time in complete form in English, along with Hippel's collected writings on the status of women, from his very early Freemason address to his last novel. Included also are lengthy notes for a second addition of "On Improving the Status of Women," as well as the most complete biography of the author in English. Hippel is here depicted as a writer who, perhaps more than any other man in history, championed the cause of women's rights throughout his life, and as one of the earliest and most profound thinkers on the subject.
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