Mary Wollstonecraft (pronounced /ˈwʊlstənkrɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and feminist. Events 1124 - David I becomes King of Scotland. 1296 - Battle of Dunbar: The Scots are defeated Year 1759 ( MDCCLIX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Events 506 - The Bishops of Visigothic Gaul meet in the Council of Agde. Year 1797 ( MDCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was a State in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1800 Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements theories, and Philosophies which are concerned with the issue of Gender difference, advocate During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Travel literature is Travel writing considered to have value as Literature. The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.
Among the general public and specifically among feminists, Wollstonecraft's life has received much more attention than her writing because of her unconventional, and often tumultuous, personal relationships. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay, Wollstonecraft married the philosopher William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement; they had one daughter, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Henry Fuseli (in German Johann Heinrich Füssli; February 7, 1741 – April 16, 1825) was a British painter Gilbert Imlay ( 9 February 1754 – 20 November 1828) was an officer in the American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence William Godwin ( 3 March 1756 &ndash 7 April 1836) was an English journalist political philosopher and Novelist Anarchism is a Political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory Government, i Mary Shelley ( Née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, generally known as Frankenstein, is a Novel written by the British author Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft died at the age of thirty-eight due to complications from childbirth, leaving behind several unfinished manuscripts.
After Wollstonecraft's death, Godwin published a Memoir (1798) of her life, revealing her unorthodox lifestyle, which inadvertently destroyed her reputation for a century. Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798 is William Godwin's biography of his wife Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of However, with the emergence of the feminist movement at the turn of the twentieth century, Wollstonecraft's advocacy of women's equality and critiques of conventional femininity became increasingly important. The feminist movement (also known as the Women's Movement or Women's Liberation) is a series of campaigns on issues such as Reproductive rights (sometimes Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and work as important influences. Feminist philosophy refers to Philosophy approached from a Feminist perspective
Wollstonecraft was born on 27 April 1759 in Spitalfields, London. Events 1124 - David I becomes King of Scotland. 1296 - Battle of Dunbar: The Scots are defeated Year 1759 ( MDCCLIX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Spitalfields is an area in the borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London, near to Liverpool Street station and Brick London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Although her family had a comfortable income when she was a child, her father gradually squandered it on speculative projects. Consequently, the family became financially unstable and they were frequently forced to move during Wollstonecraft's youth.  The family's financial situation eventually became so dire that Wollstonecraft's father compelled her to turn over money that she would have inherited at her maturity. Moreover, he was apparently a violent man who would beat his wife in drunken rages. As a teenager, Wollstonecraft used to lie outside the door of her mother's bedroom to protect her.  Wollstonecraft played a similar maternal role for her sisters, Everina and Eliza, throughout her life. For example, in a defining moment in 1784, she convinced Eliza, who was suffering from what was probably postpartum depression, to leave her husband and infant; Wollstonecraft made all of the arrangements for Eliza to flee, demonstrating her willingness to challenge social norms. The human costs, however, were severe: her sister suffered social condemnation and, because she could not remarry, was doomed to a life of poverty and hard work. 
Two friendships shaped Wollstonecraft's early life. The first was with Jane Arden in Beverley. Beverley is a Market town, Civil parish and the County town of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, located between the River The two frequently read books together and attended lectures presented by Arden's father, a self-styled philosopher and scientist. Wollstonecraft reveled in the intellectual atmosphere of the Arden household and valued her friendship with Arden greatly, sometimes to the point of being emotionally possessive. Wollstonecraft wrote to her: "I have formed romantic notions of friendship…I am a little singular in my thoughts of love and friendship; I must have the first place or none. " In some of Wollstonecraft's letters to Arden, she reveals the volatile and depressive emotions that would haunt her throughout her life. 
The second and more important friendship was with Fanny Blood, introduced to Wollstonecraft by the Clares, a couple in Hoxton who became parental figures to her; Wollstonecraft credited Blood with opening her mind. Hoxton is an area in the London Borough of Hackney, immediately north of the financial district of the City of London.  Unhappy with her home life, Wollstonecraft struck out on her own in 1778 and accepted a job as a lady's companion to Sarah Dawson, a widow living in Bath. Bath is a city in Somerset in the south west of England It is situated west of London and south-east of Bristol. However, Wollstonecraft had trouble getting along with the irascible woman (an experience she drew on when describing the drawbacks of such a position in Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787)). Thoughts on the education of daughters with reflections on female conduct In 1780 she returned home, called back to care for her dying mother.  Rather than return to Mrs. Dawson's employ after the death of her mother, Wollstonecraft moved in with the Bloods. She realized during the two years she spent with the family that she had idealized Blood, who was more invested in traditional feminine values than was Wollstonecraft. But Wollstonecraft remained dedicated to her and her family throughout her life (she frequently gave pecuniary assistance to Blood's brother, for example). 
Wollstonecraft had envisioned living in a female utopia with Blood; they made plans to rent rooms together and support each other emotionally and financially, but this dream collapsed under economic realities. In order to make a living, Wollstonecraft, her sisters, and Blood set up a school together in Newington Green, a Dissenting community. Newington Green is an open space in Islington, London that gives its name to the surrounding area English Dissenters were Christians who separated from the Church of England. Blood soon became engaged and after their marriage her husband, Hugh Skeys, took her to Europe to improve her health—which had always been precarious.  Despite the change of surroundings Blood's health further deteriorated when she became pregnant, and in 1785 Wollstonecraft left the school and followed Blood to nurse her, but to no avail.  Moreover, her abandonment of the school led to its failure.  Blood's death devastated Wollstonecraft and was part of the inspiration for her first novel, Mary: A Fiction (1788). Mary A Fiction is the first and only complete Novel 
After Blood's death, Wollstonecraft's friends helped her obtain a position as governess to the daughters of the Anglo-Irish Kingsborough family in Ireland. Original Stories from Real Life with Conversations Calculated to Regulate William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 was an English poet, painter, and Printmaker. A governess is a female employee of a family who teaches children within their home " Anglo-Irish " was a term used historically to describe a privileged Social class in Ireland, whose members were the descendants and successors of the Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world Although she could not get along with Lady Kingsborough, the children found her an inspiring instructor; Margaret King would later say she "had freed her mind from all superstitions".  Some of Wollstonecraft's experiences during this year would make their way into her only children's book, Original Stories from Real Life (1788). Original Stories from Real Life with Conversations Calculated to Regulate 
Frustrated by the limited career options open to respectable yet poor women—an impediment which Wollstonecraft eloquently describes in the chapter of Thoughts on the Education of Daughters entitled "Unfortunate Situation of Females, Fashionably Educated, and Left Without a Fortune"—she decided, after only a year as a governess, to embark upon a career as an author. Thoughts on the education of daughters with reflections on female conduct This was a radical choice, since, at the time, few women could support themselves by writing. As she wrote to her sister Everina in 1787, she was trying to become "the first of a new genus".  She moved to London and, assisted by the liberal publisher Joseph Johnson, found a place to live and work to support herself. Joseph Johnson (15 November 1738 – 20 December 1809 was an influential  She learned French and German and translated texts, most notably Of the Importance of Religious Opinions by Jacques Necker and Elements of Morality, for the Use of Children by Christian Gotthilf Salzmann. Jacques Necker ( September 30, 1732 &ndash April 9, 1804) was a French statesman of Swiss origin and finance Christian Gotthilf Salzmann (1744 &ndash 1811 was the founder of the Schnepfenthal institution, a school dedicated to new modes of education (derived heavily from the ideas She also wrote reviews, primarily of novels, for Johnson's periodical, the Analytical Review. The Analytical Review was a periodical established in Wollstonecraft's intellectual universe expanded during this time, not only from the reading that she did for her reviews but also from the company she kept: she attended Johnson's famous dinners and met such luminaries as the radical pamphleteer Thomas Paine and the philosopher William Godwin. Thomas Paine (January 29 1737 &ndash June 8 1809 was an English Pamphleteer, Revolutionary, radical, Inventor, and Intellectual William Godwin ( 3 March 1756 &ndash 7 April 1836) was an English journalist political philosopher and Novelist The first time Godwin and Wollstonecraft met, they were both disappointed in each other. Godwin had come to hear Paine, but Wollstonecraft assailed him all night long, disagreeing with him on nearly every subject. Johnson himself, however, became much more than a friend; she described him in her letters as a father and a brother. 
While in London, Wollstonecraft pursued a relationship with the artist Henry Fuseli, even though he was already married. Henry Fuseli (in German Johann Heinrich Füssli; February 7, 1741 – April 16, 1825) was a British painter She was, she wrote, enraptured by his genius, "the grandeur of his soul, that quickness of comprehension, and lovely sympathy".  She proposed a platonic living arrangement with Fuseli and his wife, but Fuseli's wife was appalled, and he broke off the relationship with Wollstonecraft.  After Fuseli's rejection, Wollstonecraft decided to travel to France to escape the humiliation of the incident, and to participate in the revolutionary events that she had just celebrated in her recent Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790). A Vindication of the Rights of Men in a Letter to the Right Honourable She had written the Rights of Men in response to Edmund Burke's conservative critique of the French Revolution in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) and it made her famous overnight. Edmund Burke ( 12 January, 1729 9 July, 1797) was an Irish statesman author orator Political theorist, and The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790 by Edmund Burke, is one of the best-known intellectual attacks against the (then-infant French Revolution She was compared with such leading lights as the theologian and controversialist Joseph Priestley and Paine, whose Rights of Man (1791) would prove to be the most popular of the responses to Burke. Joseph Priestley (13 March 1733 ( Old Rights of Man (1787 by Thomas Paine, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard its people their natural rights She pursued the ideas she had outlined in Rights of Men in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), her most famous and influential work. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral 
Wollstonecraft left for Paris in December 1792 and arrived about a month before Louis XVI was guillotined. The Palais des Tuileries was a royal Palace in Paris. It stood on the right bank of the River Seine until 1871, when it was destroyed Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Louis XVI ( 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) Louis-Auguste de France, ruled as King of France and Navarre The country was in turmoil. She sought out other British visitors such as Helen Maria Williams and joined the circle of expatriates then in the city. Helen Maria Williams (1761 or 1762&ndash1827 was a British Novelist poet, and translator of French-language works  Having just written the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft was determined to put her ideas to the test, and in the stimulating intellectual atmosphere of the French revolution she attempted her most experimental romantic attachment yet: she met and fell passionately in love with Gilbert Imlay, an American adventurer. The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an Gilbert Imlay ( 9 February 1754 – 20 November 1828) was an officer in the American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence Whether or not Wollstonecraft was interested in marriage, Imlay was not, and Wollstonecraft appears to have fallen in love with an idealized portrait of the man. While Wollstonecraft had rejected the sexual component of relationships in the Rights of Woman, Imlay awakened her passions and her interest in sex.  Wollstonecraft soon became pregnant, and on 14 May 1794 she gave birth to her first child, Fanny, naming her after perhaps her closest friend. Events 1264 - Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured in France making Simon de Montfort the Year 1794 ( MDCCXCIV) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Frances "Fanny" Imlay (legally Fanny Wollstonecraft  Wollstonecraft was overjoyed; she wrote to a friend: "My little Girl begins to suck so MANFULLY that her father reckons saucily on her writing the second part of the R[igh]ts of Woman" (emphasis Wollstonecraft's).  Wollstonecraft continued to write avidly despite not only her pregnancy and the burdens of being a new mother alone in a foreign country but also the growing tumult of the French revolution. While at Le Havre in northern France, she wrote a history of the early revolution, An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution, which was published in London in December 1794. Le Havre is a city in the northwest region of France situated on the right bank of the mouth of the Seine River as it outlets into the Bay of the Seine 
As the political situation worsened, Britain declared war on France, placing all British citizens in France in considerable danger. The First Coalition ( 1792 – 1797) was the first major concerted effort of multiple European powers to contain Revolutionary France. To protect Wollstonecraft, Imlay registered her as his wife in 1793, even though they were not married.  Some of Wollstonecraft's friends were not so lucky; many, like Thomas Paine, were arrested, and some were even guillotined. (Wollstonecraft's sisters believed she had been imprisoned. ) After Wollstonecraft left France, she continued to refer to herself as Mrs. Imlay, even to her sisters, in order to bestow legitimacy upon her child. 
Imlay, unhappy with the domestic-minded and maternal Wollstonecraft, eventually left her. He promised that he would return to Le Havre where she went to give birth to her child, but his delays in writing to her and his long absences convinced Wollstonecraft that he had found another woman. Her letters to him are full of needy expostulations, explained by most critics as the expressions of a deeply depressed woman but by some as a result of her circumstances—alone with an infant in the middle of a revolution. 
Seeking Imlay, Wollstonecraft returned to London in April 1795, but he rejected her. In May 1795 she attempted to commit suicide, probably with laudanum, but Imlay saved her life (although it is unclear how). Laudanum (ˈlȯd-nəm or ˈlȯ-də-nəm also known as Opium Tincture or Tincture of Opium, is an Alcoholic herbal preparation  In a last attempt to win back Imlay, she embarked upon some business negotiations for him in Scandinavia, trying to recoup some of his losses. Terminology and usage As a cultural term "Scandinavia" has no official definition and is subject to usage by those who identify with the culture in question as well Wollstonecraft undertook this hazardous trip with only her young daughter and a maid. She recounted her travels and thoughts in letters to Imlay, many of which were eventually published as Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in 1796. Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden Norway and Denmark  When she returned to England and came to the full realization that her relationship with Imlay was over, she attempted suicide for the second time, leaving a note for Imlay:
Let my wrongs sleep with me! Soon, very soon, I shall be at peace. When you receive this, my burning head will be cold. . . . I shall plunge into the Thames where there is least chance of my being snatched from the death I seek. God bless you! May you never know by experience what you have made me endure. Should your sensibility ever awake, remorse will find its way to your heart; and, in the midst of business and sensual pleasure, I shall appear before you, the victim of your deviation from rectitude. 
She then went out on a rainy night and "to make her clothes heavy with water, she walked up and down about half an hour" before jumping into the River Thames, but a stranger saw her jump and rescued her. James Northcote RA ( October 22, 1746 - July 13, 1831) was an English painter. William Godwin ( 3 March 1756 &ndash 7 April 1836) was an English journalist political philosopher and Novelist The Thames ( is a major River flowing through southern England.  Wollstonecraft considered her suicide attempt deeply rational, writing after her rescue, "I have only to lament, that, when the bitterness of death was past, I was inhumanly brought back to life and misery. But a fixed determination is not to be baffled by disappointment; nor will I allow that to be a frantic attempt, which was one of the calmest acts of reason. In this respect, I am only accountable to myself. Did I care for what is termed reputation, it is by other circumstances that I should be dishonoured. "
Gradually, Wollstonecraft returned to her literary life, becoming involved with Joseph Johnson's circle again, in particular with Mary Hays, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Sarah Siddons through William Godwin. Joseph Johnson (15 November 1738 – 20 December 1809 was an influential Mary Hays (1760 &ndash 1843 was an English novelist and feminist Elizabeth Inchbald, née Simpson (1753 - 1821 was an English novelist actress and dramatist Sarah Siddons ( 5 July 1755 &ndash 8 June 1831) was a British actress, the best-known Tragedienne of the William Godwin ( 3 March 1756 &ndash 7 April 1836) was an English journalist political philosopher and Novelist Godwin and Wollstonecraft's unique courtship began slowly, but it eventually became a passionate love affair.  Godwin had read her Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and later wrote that "If ever there was a book calculated to make a man in love with its author, this appears to me to be the book. She speaks of her sorrows, in a way that fills us with melancholy, and dissolves us in tenderness, at the same time that she displays a genius which commands all our admiration. " Once Wollstonecraft became pregnant, they decided to marry so that their child would be legitimate. Their marriage revealed the fact that Wollstonecraft had never been married to Imlay, and as a result she and Godwin lost many friends. Godwin received further criticism because he had advocated the abolition of marriage in his philosophical treatise Political Justice. Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Manners (1793 outlines the Political philosophy of the eighteenth-century philosopher  After their marriage on 29 March 1797, they moved into two adjoining houses, known as The Polygon, so that they could both still retain their independence; they often communicated by letter. Events 1461 - Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton - Edward of York defeats Queen Margaret to become King Year 1797 ( MDCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common  By all accounts, theirs was a happy and stable, though tragically brief, relationship. 
On 30 August 1797, Wollstonecraft gave birth to her second daughter, Mary. William Godwin ( 3 March 1756 &ndash 7 April 1836) was an English journalist political philosopher and Novelist Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798 is William Godwin's biography of his wife Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of Events 1363 - Beginning date of the Battle of Lake Poyang; the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders— Chen Youliang and Year 1797 ( MDCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Mary Shelley ( Née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August Although the delivery seemed to go well initially, the placenta broke apart during the birth and became infected, a common occurrence in the eighteenth century. The placenta is an Ephemeral organ present in placental Vertebrates, such as Eutherial Mammals and Sharks during Gestation After several days of agony, Wollstonecraft died of septicemia on 10 September. Sepsis is a serious medical condition characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state (called a Systemic inflammatory response syndrome or SIRS caused Events 506 - The Bishops of Visigothic Gaul meet in the Council of Agde.  Godwin was devastated: he wrote to his friend Thomas Holcroft, "I firmly believe there does not exist her equal in the world. Thomas Holcroft ( December 10, 1745 - March 23, 1809) was an English Dramatist and miscellaneous writer I know from experience we were formed to make each other happy. I have not the least expectation that I can now ever know happiness again. " She was buried at Old Saint Pancras Churchyard, and a memorial to her was constructed there, though both her and Godwin's remains were later moved to Bournemouth. For the Saint after whom this church is named see Saint Pancras. Bournemouth ( is a large coastal resort town in the Borough of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. Her tombstone reads, "Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: Born 27 April, 1759: Died 10 September, 1797. "
In January 1798 Godwin published his Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798 is William Godwin's biography of his wife Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of Although Godwin felt that he was portraying his wife with love, compassion, and sincerity, many readers were shocked that he would reveal Wollstonecraft's illegitimate children, love affairs, and suicide attempts.  The Romantic poet Robert Southey accused him of "the want of all feeling in stripping his dead wife naked" and vicious satires such as The Unsex'd Females were published. Romanticism is a complex artistic literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength during the Robert Southey ( August 12, 1774 &ndash March 21, 1843) was an English Poet of the Romantic school one The Unsex'd Females a Poem (1798 by Richard Polwhele, is a polemical intervention into the public debates over the role of women at the end of the eighteenth century  Godwin's Memoirs portrays Wollstonecraft as a woman deeply invested in feeling who was balanced by his reason and as more of a religious skeptic than her own writings suggest.  Godwin's views of Wollstonecraft were perpetuated throughout the nineteenth century and resulted in poems such as "Wollstonecraft and Fuseli" by British poet Robert Browning and that by William Roscoe which includes the lines:
Wollstonecraft has had what scholar Cora Kaplan labels a "curious" legacy: "for an author-activist adept in many genres… up until the last quarter-century Wollstonecraft's life has been read much more closely than her writing".  After the devastating effect of Godwin's Memoirs, Wollstonecraft's reputation lay in tatters for a century; she was pilloried by such writers as Maria Edgeworth, who patterned the "freakish" Harriet Freke in Belinda (1801) after Wollstonecraft. Maria Edgeworth (1 January 1767 &ndash 22 May 1849 was an Anglo-Irish novelist Belinda is an 1801 novel by the Irish writer Maria Edgeworth. Other novelists such as Mary Hays, Charlotte Smith, Fanny Burney, and Jane West created similar figures, all to teach a "moral lesson" to their readers. Mary Hays (1760 &ndash 1843 was an English novelist and feminist Charlotte Turner Smith (4 May 1749 - 28 October 1806 was an English Poet and Novelist whose works have been credited with influencing Jane Austen For playwright Frances Burney (1776–1828 niece of novelist Fanny Burney Madame d'Arblay 1752-1840 see Frances Burney (1776–1828 Frances Burney Jane West Iliffe (1758-1852 who published as "Prudentia Homespun" and "Mrs  As Wollstonecraft scholar Virginia Sapiro makes clear, few read Wollstonecraft's works during the nineteenth century as "her attackers implied or stated that no self-respecting woman would read her work".  Only Lucretia Mott, an early American feminist, seems to have been influenced by Wollstonecraft's works. Lucretia Coffin Mott ( January 3, 1793 – November 11, 1880) was an American Quaker minister, Abolitionist,  According to Sapiro, "there is little indication that anyone who played a key role in women's history or feminism, other than Lucretia Mott, read Wollstonecraft's work seriously after her death until the twentieth century. " With the advent of the modern feminist movement, however, women as politically dissimilar from each other as Virginia Woolf and Emma Goldman embraced Wollstonecraft's life story and celebrated her "experiments in living", as Woolf termed them in a famous essay. The feminist movement (also known as the Women's Movement or Women's Liberation) is a series of campaigns on issues such as Reproductive rights (sometimes (Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941 was an English Novelist and Essayist, regarded as one of the foremost Emma Goldman (June 27 1869 – May 14 1940 was an anarchist known for her political activism writing and speeches  Many, however, continued to decry Wollstonecraft's lifestyle and her works were still ignored.
With the emergence of feminist criticism in academia in the 1960s and 1970s, Wollstonecraft's works returned to prominence. Their fortunes reflected that of the feminist movement itself; for example, in the early 1970s, six major biographies of Wollstonecraft were published that presented her "passionate life in apposition to [her] radical and rationalist agenda".  Wollstonecraft was seen as a paradoxical yet intriguing figure who did not adhere to the 1970s version of feminism—"the personal is the political". In the 1980s and 1990s, yet another image of Wollstonecraft emerged, one which described her as much more a creature of her time; scholars such as Claudia Johnson, Gary Kelly, and Virginia Sapiro demonstrated the continuity between Wollstonecraft's thought and other important eighteenth-century ideas regarding topics such as sensibility, economics, and political theory. Sensibility refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something such as the Emotions of another
Wollstonecraft's work has also had an effect on feminism outside the academy in recent years. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a feminist who is critical of Islam's dictates regarding women, cited the Rights of Woman in her autobiography and wrote that she was "inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft, the pioneering feminist thinker who told women they had the same ability to reason as men did and deserved the same rights". Ayaan Hirsi Ali ( Ayaan Xirsi Cali; born Ayaan Hirsi Magan 13 November 1969 in Mogadishu, Somalia) is a Dutch 
The majority of Wollstonecraft's early productions centre around the topic of education; she assembled an anthology of literary extracts "for the improvement of young women" entitled The Female Reader and she translated two children's works, Maria Geertruida van de Werken de Cambon's Young Grandison and Christian Gotthilf Salzmann's Elements of Morality. Thoughts on the education of daughters with reflections on female conduct Thoughts on the education of daughters with reflections on female conduct Original Stories from Real Life with Conversations Calculated to Regulate Christian Gotthilf Salzmann (1744 &ndash 1811 was the founder of the Schnepfenthal institution, a school dedicated to new modes of education (derived heavily from the ideas Her own writings also addressed the topic. In both her conduct book Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787) and her children's book Original Stories from Real Life (1788), Wollstonecraft advocates educating children into the emerging middle-class ethos: self-discipline, honesty, frugality, and social contentment. Conduct books are a Genre of books that attempt to educate the reader on social norms Thoughts on the education of daughters with reflections on female conduct Children's literature is an age category of literature written for published for or marketed to Children roughly through age 12 Original Stories from Real Life with Conversations Calculated to Regulate The middle class, in colloquial usage consists of those who have some economic independence but not a great deal of social Influence or power.  Both books also emphasize the importance of teaching children to reason, revealing Wollstonecraft's intellectual debt to the important seventeenth-century educational philosopher John Locke. John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704 was an English Philosopher.  However, the prominence she affords religious faith and innate feeling distinguishes her work from his and links it to the discourse of sensibility popular at the end of the eighteenth century. Sensibility refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something such as the Emotions of another  Both texts also advocate the education of women, a controversial topic at the time and one which she would return to throughout her career, most notably in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Wollstonecraft argues that well-educated women will be good wives and mothers and ultimately contribute positively to the nation. 
Published in response to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), which was a defence of constitutional monarchy, aristocracy, and the Church of England, Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790) attacks aristocracy and advocates republicanism. A Vindication of the Rights of Men in a Letter to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke ( 12 January, 1729 9 July, 1797) was an Irish statesman author orator Political theorist, and Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790 by Edmund Burke, is one of the best-known intellectual attacks against the (then-infant French Revolution A constitutional monarchy, or a limited monarchy, is a form of Constitutional Government, wherein either an elected or hereditary Monarch is The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Aristocracy is a form of Government, where rule is established through an internal struggle over who has the most status and influence over society and internal relations Republicanism is the Ideology of governing a nation as a Republic, with an emphasis on Liberty, Rule of law, Popular sovereignty Hers was the first response in a pamphlet war that subsequently became known as the Revolution Controversy, in which Thomas Paine's Rights of Man (1792) became the rallying cry for reformers and radicals. The Revolution Controversy, a British debate over the French Revolution, lasted from 1789 through 1795 Thomas Paine (January 29 1737 &ndash June 8 1809 was an English Pamphleteer, Revolutionary, radical, Inventor, and Intellectual Rights of Man (1787 by Thomas Paine, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard its people their natural rights
Wollstonecraft not only attacked monarchy and hereditary privilege but also the language that Burke used to defend and elevate it. In a famous passage in the Reflections, Burke had lamented: "I had thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her [Marie Antoinette] with insult. Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen (November 2 1755 &ndash October 16 1793 known to history as Marie Antoinette ( pronounced /maʀi ɑ̃ntwanɛt/ —But the age of chivalry is gone. " Most of Burke's detractors deplored what they viewed as theatrical pity for the French queen—a pity they felt was at the expense of the people. Wollstonecraft was unique in her attack on Burke's gendered language. By redefining the sublime and the beautiful, terms first established by Burke himself in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1756), she undermined his rhetoric as well as his argument. In Aesthetics, the sublime (from the Latin sublimis ( up from under the lintel high lofty elevated exalted is the quality of greatness or vast A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful is a 1757 treatise on Aesthetics, written by Edmund Burke. Burke had associated the beautiful with weakness and femininity and the sublime with strength and masculinity; Wollstonecraft turns these definitions against him, arguing that his theatrical tableaux turn Burke's readers—the citizens—into weak women who are swayed by show.  In her first unabashedly feminist critique, which Wollstonecraft scholar Claudia L. Johnson argues remains unsurpassed in its argumentative force, Wollstonecraft indicts Burke's defence of an unequal society founded on the passivity of women. Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements theories, and Philosophies which are concerned with the issue of Gender difference, advocate Claudia L Johnson is the Murray Professor of English Literature at Princeton University; she is also currently chairperson of the English department
In her arguments for republican virtue, Wollstonecraft invokes an emerging middle-class ethos in opposition to what she views as the vice-ridden aristocratic code of manners.  Influenced by Enlightenment thinkers, she believed in progress and derides Burke for relying on tradition and custom. The Age of Enlightenment or The Enlightenment is a term used to describe a phase in Western philosophy and cultural life centered upon the eighteenth century She argues for rationality, pointing out that Burke's system would lead to the continuation of slavery, simply because it had been an ancestral tradition. As a social-economic system slavery is a legal institution under which a Person (called "a slave" is compelled to work for another  She describes an idyllic country life in which each family can have a farm that will just suit its needs. Wollstonecraft contrasts her utopian picture of society, drawn with what she says is genuine feeling, to Burke's false feeling. Utopia is a name for an ideal community taken from the title of a book written in 1516 by Sir Thomas More describing a fictional Island in the 
The Rights of Men was Wollstonecraft's first overtly political work, as well as her first feminist work; as Johnson contends, "it seems that in the act of writing the later portions of Rights of Men she discovered the subject that would preoccupy her for the rest of her career".  It was this text that made her a well-known writer.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements theories, and Philosophies which are concerned with the issue of Gender difference, advocate In it, Wollstonecraft argues that women ought to have an education commensurate with their position in society and then proceeds to redefine that position, claiming that women are essential to the nation because they educate its children and because they could be "companions" to their husbands, rather than mere wives.  Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage, Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men. Large sections of the Rights of Woman respond vitriolically to conduct book writers such as James Fordyce and John Gregory and educational philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wanted to deny women an education. Conduct books are a Genre of books that attempt to educate the reader on social norms James Fordyce, DD (b 1720 in Aberdeen, Scotland, d 1 October 1796 in Bath, England) was an Eighteenth-century John Gregory (aka John Gregorie ( 3 June 1724 – 9 February 1773) was an eighteenth-century Scottish physician medical writer and moralist (Rousseau famously argues in Émile (1762) that women should be educated for the pleasure of men. Emile or On Education (1762 which Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed to be the “best and most important of all my writings” is largely a philosophical treatise )
Wollstonecraft states that currently many women are silly and superficial (she refers to them, for example, as "spaniels" and "toys"), but argues that this is not because of an innate deficiency of mind but rather because men have denied them access to education. Wollstonecraft is intent on illustrating the limitations that women's deficient educations have placed on them; she writes: "Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and, roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison. " She implies that, without the encouragement young women receive from an early age to focus their attention on beauty and outward accomplishments, women could achieve much more. 
While Wollstonecraft does call for equality between the sexes in particular areas of life, such as morality, she does not explicitly state that men and women are equal.  What she does claim is that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. However, such claims of equality stand in contrast to her statements respecting the superiority of masculine strength and valour.  Wollstonecraft famously and ambiguously writes: "Let it not be concluded that I wish to invert the order of things; I have already granted, that, from the constitution of their bodies, men seem to be designed by Providence to attain a greater degree of virtue. I speak collectively of the whole sex; but I see not the shadow of a reason to conclude that their virtues should differ in respect to their nature. In fact, how can they, if virtue has only one eternal standard? I must therefore, if I reason consequentially, as strenuously maintain that they have the same simple direction, as that there is a God. " Her ambiguous statements regarding the equality of the sexes have since made it difficult to classify Wollstonecraft as a modern feminist, particularly since the word and the concept were unavailable to her. 
One of Wollstonecraft's most scathing critiques in the Rights of Woman is of false and excessive sensibility, particularly in women. Sensibility refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something such as the Emotions of another She argues that women who succumb to sensibility are "blown about by every momentary gust of feeling" and because they are "the prey of their senses" they cannot think rationally.  In fact, she claims, they do harm not only to themselves but to the entire civilization: these are not women who can help refine a civilization—a popular eighteenth-century idea—but women who will destroy it. Wollstonecraft does not argue that reason and feeling should act independently of each other; rather, she believes that they should inform each other. 
In addition to her larger philosophical arguments, Wollstonecraft also lays out a specific educational plan. In the twelfth chapter of the Rights of Woman, "On National Education", she argues that all children should be sent to a "country day school" as well as given some education at home "to inspire a love of home and domestic pleasures. " She also maintains that schooling should be co-educational, arguing that men and women, whose marriages are "the cement of society", should be "educated after the same model. Mixed-sex education, (or just Mixed education) also known as Coeducation, is the integrated education to males and females at the same school facilities "
Wollstonecraft addresses her text to the middle-class, which she describes as the "most natural state", and in many ways the Rights of Woman is inflected by a bourgeois view of the world.  It encourages modesty and industry in its readers and attacks the uselessness of the aristocracy. But Wollstonecraft is not necessarily a friend to the poor; for example, in her national plan for education, she suggests that, after the age of nine, the poor, except for those who are brilliant, should be separated from the rich and taught in another school. 
Both of Wollstonecraft's novels criticize what she viewed as the patriarchal institution of marriage and its deleterious effects on women. Mary A Fiction is the first and only complete Novel Maria or The Wrongs of Woman is Mary Wollstonecraft's A novel (from Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new" "news" or "short story In her first novel, Mary: A Fiction (1788), the eponymous heroine is forced into a loveless marriage for economic reasons; she fulfils her desire for love and affection outside of marriage with two passionate romantic friendships, one with a woman and one with a man. The term romantic friendship refers to a very close but non- Sexual relationship between friends often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798), an unfinished novel published posthumously and often considered Wollstonecraft's most radical feminist work, revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband; like Mary, Maria also finds fulfilment outside of marriage, in an affair with a fellow inmate and a friendship with one of her keepers. Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements theories, and Philosophies which are concerned with the issue of Gender difference, advocate Neither of Wollstonecraft's novels depict successful marriages, although she posits such relationships in the Rights of Woman. At the end of Mary, the heroine believes she is going "to that world where there is neither marrying, nor giving in marriage," presumably a positive state of affairs. 
Both of Wollstonecraft's novels also critique the discourse of sensibility, a moral philosophy and aesthetic that had become popular at the end of the eighteenth century. Sensibility refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something such as the Emotions of another Mary is itself a novel of sensibility and Wollstonecraft attempts to use the tropes of that genre to undermine sentimentalism itself, a philosophy she believed was damaging to women because it encouraged them to rely overmuch on their emotions. In The Wrongs of Woman the heroine's indulgence on romantic fantasies fostered by novels themselves is depicted as particularly detrimental. 
Female friendships are central to both of Wollstonecraft's novels, but it is the friendship between Maria and Jemima, the servant charged with watching over her in the insane asylum, that is the most historically significant. This friendship, based on a sympathetic bond of motherhood, between an upper-class woman and a lower-class woman is one of the first moments in the history of feminist literature that hints at a cross-class argument, that is, that women of different economic positions have the same interests because they are women. 
Wollstonecraft's Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is a deeply personal travel narrative. Caspar David Friedrich ( September 5, 1774 &ndash May 7, 1840) was a landscape painter of the nineteenth-century German Romantic In Aesthetics, the sublime (from the Latin sublimis ( up from under the lintel high lofty elevated exalted is the quality of greatness or vast Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden Norway and Denmark Travel literature is Travel writing considered to have value as Literature. The twenty-five letters cover a wide range of topics, from sociological reflections on Scandinavia and its peoples to philosophical questions regarding identity to musings on her relationship with Imlay (although he is not referred to by name in the text). Terminology and usage As a cultural term "Scandinavia" has no official definition and is subject to usage by those who identify with the culture in question as well Gilbert Imlay ( 9 February 1754 – 20 November 1828) was an officer in the American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence Using the rhetoric of the sublime, Wollstonecraft explores the relationship between the self and society. In Aesthetics, the sublime (from the Latin sublimis ( up from under the lintel high lofty elevated exalted is the quality of greatness or vast Reflecting the strong influence of Rousseau, Letters Written in Sweden shares similar themes with Reveries of a Solitary Walker (1782): "the search for the source of human happiness, the stoic rejection of material goods, the ecstatic embrace of nature, and the essential role of sentiment in understanding". Reveries of a Solitary Walker (or Reveries of the Solitary Walker, French title Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire) is an  While Rousseau ultimately rejects society, however, Wollstonecraft celebrates domestic scenes and industrial progress in her text. 
Wollstonecraft promotes subjective experience, particularly in relation to nature, exploring the connections between the sublime and sensibility. Sensibility refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something such as the Emotions of another Many of the letters describe the breathtaking scenery of Scandinavia and Wollstonecraft's desire to create an emotional connection to that natural world. In so doing, she gives greater value to the imagination than she had in previous works.  As in her previous works, she champions the liberation and education of women.  In a change from her earlier works, however, she illustrates the detrimental effects of commerce on society, contrasting the imaginative connection to the world with a commercial and mercenary one, an attitude she associates with Imlay. 
Letters Written in Sweden was Wollstonecraft's most popular book in the 1790s. It sold well and was reviewed positively by most critics. Godwin wrote "if ever there was a book calculated to make a man in love with its author, this appears to me to be the book. William Godwin ( 3 March 1756 &ndash 7 April 1836) was an English journalist political philosopher and Novelist " It influenced Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who drew on its themes and its aesthetic. Romanticism is a complex artistic literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength during the Samuel Taylor Coleridge ( 21 October 1772 &ndash 25 July 1834) was an English Poet, Critic and philosopher 
This is a complete list of Mary Wollstonecraft's works; all works are the first edition and were authored by Wollstonecraft unless otherwise noted. This timeline lists important events relevant to the life of Mary Wollstonecraft 
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||British writer and philosopher|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 27, 1759|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Spitalfields, London, England|
|DATE OF DEATH||September 10, 1797|
|PLACE OF DEATH||London, England|
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP is a freely-accessible Online encyclopedia of Philosophy maintained by Stanford University. A writer is anyone who creates a written work although the word usually designates those who write creatively or professionally as well as those who have written in many different forms Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language Events 1124 - David I becomes King of Scotland. 1296 - Battle of Dunbar: The Scots are defeated Year 1759 ( MDCCLIX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Spitalfields is an area in the borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London, near to Liverpool Street station and Brick London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Events 506 - The Bishops of Visigothic Gaul meet in the Council of Agde. Year 1797 ( MDCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland