An examination of the overall intentions of that text, its peculiar, isolated place in Descartes’s writings, its intended audience, and its anticipated and actual reception would have been a welcome addition. The Meditations assert a strong demand to be read as a self-sufficient and logically compelling chain of reasonings; Descartes explicitly did not want the work to be considered and evaluated as if it merely laid out one particular way of looking at the world. But the commentator can perhaps resist that demand without doing the author an injustice. Descartes’s aim was not really, after all, to prove the immortality of the soul. Rather, the work is a reductio ad absurdum of the proposition that the senses can only solicit us to wickedness and that human beings since the Fall are so cognitively impaired and so wracked by sin that they cannot obtain efficacious and worthwhile knowledge of nature. It was dangerous to assert the contrary in 1640, but the marvellous artifice of the Meditations got the point across to many of Descartes’s contemporaries.
The Meditations don't, as far as I can see, have a "peculiar, isolated place in Descartes's writings"; Descartes, after all, had presaged them in the Discourse on Method (as Descartes himself notes in the Preface), and he solicited objections for the Meditations themselves, even going so far as to publish the Meditations with the objections and replies. This very pairing of the Meditations with the Objections and Replies suggests that the work is not so isolated and self-contained as Wilson is suggesting. I think, in fact, this argument is confusing the idea that Cartesian meditation is self-sufficient and logically compelling, of which there is plenty of evidence within the Meditations, with the idea that the Meditations is self-sufficient and logically compelling, of which I think there is no evidence at all. We see this in the claim that "Descartes explicitly did not want the work to be considered and evaluated as if it merely laid out one particular way of looking at the world", which seems to require that we are talking about Cartesian meditation itself, but is applied to the text of the Meditations.
I'm also a little puzzled at what Wilson has in mind in saying that refutation of the claim that "the senses can only solicit us to wickedness and that human beings since the Fall are so cognitively impaired and so wracked by sin that they cannot obtain efficacious and worthwhile knowledge of nature" was 'dangerous to assert' in 1640. Since Descartes was living in the Netherlands at the time, he would have, despite the relatively robust free speech in the Netherlands at the time, been surrounded by Calvinists of various stripes, so perhaps she's suggesting that the Meditations is at least partly an anti-Calvinist work directed against total depravity? That would certainly be interesting. But I don't know who of Descartes's contemporaries would actually have been in mind. Certainly not the Reformed scholastics who dominated the Dutch universities and who would have been the Calvinists most likely to read him. And I'm not really sure how well it would work as the kind of reductio ad absurdum Wilson is suggesting, although it is certainly true that Descartes is interested, as a major plank of his larger project, in establishing "efficacious and worthwhile knowledge of nature". But I might simply not be understanding her suggestion.