The French translation of Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman was published before she arrived in Paris in the winter 1792, and reviewed favourably in at least four reviews, including one, La Chronique de Paris, edited by Condorcet. The name of the translator is not noted anywhere in the translation. Isabelle Bour, in an article on the reception of Wollstonecraft in revolutionary France, suggests that it was a Girondin.
The translation is a good one: it contains spelling mistakes rather than mistakes in translation, suggesting that it was done in a hurry by someone who knew English well. It is also annotated in a way that suggests familiarity with English culture and literature, and a desire to defend 'Papist' France against the allegations of a protestant writer, while at the same time poking fun at Wollstonecraft's old fashion religiosity.
The translator seems thoroughly on board with Wollstonecraft's defence of women, until, that is, we reach a footnote to Chapter 11 (which mostly concerns education of women) where we get a peak at the translators's common-revolutionary-garden variety and insidious sexism:
Here the author is talking about France. It is true that the Revolution is allowing us to pay attention to women who for too long were treated with superficial respect and deep contempt. We owe them a better education; because mothers are the first teachers that nature and society offers children. We owe them divorce, which only the tyranny of priests was able to take from them. A large number among them have proven that they were worthy of liberty; they only need to be enlightened. More enlightened, they will become more virtuous and happier. We owe them reparation for all the gothic crimes of feudality against them, for inheritance, etc.; for if nature seems to refuse them political rights, they have as many claims to civil rights as men. In a word, it is up to them to give the new regime the firmness it needs. Since the French nation has shaken off it yoke, we have heard much about a counter-revolution. Legislators! Don't deceive yourselves: if there is to be a counter-revolution, it will come from the influence of women. So let the constitution concern itself with them, what you do for them will not be lost. What you have deposited in the hands of the paterfamilias really belongs to them, as they will transmit it to the future generations.
The translator is quite clear that women are not and should not be political rights holders, and that the main reason why we should grant them rights is that they are mothers to future citizens.
Although Wollstonecraft does emphasise the importance of the role of women as mothers in a republic, she by no means reduces their citizenship to that, indeed, takes pain to say that women need not marry nor have children, but that they still deserve to be treated as full citizens. The translator clearly accepts what Sieyes proposed in the draft of the Constitution, namely that women should be only passive citizen, i.e. enjoy civil, but not political rights.
This is where I live blog about my new book project, an intellectual biography of three French Revolutionary women philosophers.