Mary Wollstonecraft

Biography

Mary Wollstonecraft was born on April 27th, 1759 in London. Mary was the second of 7 children born in her family. She went through very difficult times growing up. Most of them were protecting her mother from her often drunk father. But she also ran away with her sister, leaving her new-born baby behind which died only months later. Mary educated herself using the bible and studying the ways of Shakespeare and Milton. Using her knowledge, she published many writings on the treatment of women, her most famous was called " Vindication of the Rights of Women."

Important Publishings

Some of Mary's most popular writings include:

- Thoughts on the Education of Girls, which stated traditional ways of teaching should be replaced by new topics studied by girls.

- A Vindication of the Rights of Man. This was a pamphlet written to defend her friend who was a preacher from someone who did not agree with a statement given in a sermon. Also, it included her opinion on slave trade and how she thought poor people were not being treated fairly. Because of this writing, she got the attention of many great people including Thomas Paine who she later got to meet.

- Vindication of Rights of Women was Mary's most influential writings. It said that women are being educated as if they are meant to be stupid and are to have no knowledge in what is happening or has happened in the world. She also spent much time expressing her feelings on how women are being taught to care about how they appeal to a man's eye above all else. While talking about this she boldly stated her opinion that marriage was " Legal Prostitution."

Mary's Family

Reputation

Mary did not have a very good reputation. Even her own husband didn't give her his full support. The one person that guided her through her struggles and helped her every step of the way was her publisher, Joseph Johnson. Although Mary was not hated, she was often mocked, but that did not stop her from writing. Mary's writings are more appreciated now, then they were back when she lived.

Mary's Ending

After Mary's 1st child was born, Fanny, named after her best friend, Mary found out her husband was cheating on her, and attempted to commit suicide twice. On the second try, she soaked her clothes in water before walking into the Thames, a river in England. After two unsuccessful attempts, she divorced her husband, and married another, William Godwin. Mary soon had another child, and named her Mary. The baby was healthy, but something was left in Mary's stomach that did not come out with the baby. When the doctors tried to remove it, Mary's blood became contaminated and died of blood poisoning on September 10th, 1797.