Mary Wollstonecraft

(Mary Wollstonecraft and the Newington Green dissenters 1781 by Red Saunders)

One of the pictures shown in Hidden, the exhibition of photographs at the People’s History Museum in Manchester which recreate scenes from the history of ordinary people’s struggles for democracy, features Mary Wollstonecraft an early radical feminist together with a group of fellow dissenters.

Like many early radicals, Mary isn’t as well known today as she deserves to be (although her portrait is hung in the National Portrait Gallery in London). Yet she was one of the earliest feminists and advocate of the rights of women. In her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman(1792), she argued that women were human beings who were not naturally inferior to men and deserved the same fundamental rights.


Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie (c. 1797) – Source: Wikipedia

There’s a good brief biography on the BBC website here and while browsing on the web I came across an excellent website devoted to Mary.

5 thoughts on “Mary Wollstonecraft

    • Hi Barbara.

      I remember reading your post on the Mary Shelley play and at the time thought I’d like to see it too. I think it was on at Liverpool Playhouse too, but I didn’t have the opportunity to get allong. Mary Wollstonecraft, her daughters and her husband, William Godwin, were certainly some family. Mary W’s first daughter, Fanny, whose father was Mary’s American lover with whom she ran off to Paris just before the Revolution, was also said to have had an affair with Shelley before he ran of with Mary junior.

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