Simone de Beauvoir is the subject of the second book in the series "Women of Ideas". This, and succeeding volumes will: provide succinct introductions to the ideas of women who have been recognized as major theorists; make the work of major women of ideas accessible to students and those who wish to know more; appraise and reappriase the work of neglected women of ideas and give them a higher profile; and provide a full bibliography of its subject's writings, where they are easily available. In this volume, Mary Evans demonstrates the importance to feminism of de Beauvoir's ideas. She shows how de Beauvoir's work resists simplistic readings and cannot be reduced to opposition between masculine and feminine, rational and irrational, or social and natural. She argues that de Beauvoir's work is autobiographical and presents an analysis of the complex relations between fact, faction and autobiography. This book also demonstrates that de Beauvoir's profound political agenda for a "New Woman" is a vital legacy for feminism today.
Mary Evans is Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She is the editor of both editions of The Woman Question (Fontana, 1982 and Sage, 1994) and co-editor of the European Journal of Women's Studies.