p.p1 Wrongs of Woman (1798), and her most famous

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2px ‘Times New Roman’; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 15.0px}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}Mary Wollstonecraft, born April 27th 1759, was an english writer, philosopher, and advocate of women rights, who’s work would inspire an entire country to change it’s laws for the better of women. Wollstonecraft mainly focused on education and social equality for women. She is from an era where women lacked rights such as the right to vote, work and be educated and their voices were not heard. Mary learned this fact at an early age and wanted to make a difference. She grew up in a poor family with seven children in Spitalfields London.

Even though Mary showed a profound interest in being educated, only her brother Ned was sent to school. Mary’s Father John Wollstonecraft moved the family frequently across London in a series of unsuccessful attempts to make it big. The family became poorer with each subsequent move, and eventually settled on a farm. John was abusive towards Mary’s mother and other members of the family, and when Mary was little she would sleep in front of her parents bedroom door to prevent her father from beating her mother in a fit of rage.

This shows that even as a little girl Mary’s intentions were to protect women from the wrongs of men. Mary’s mother died in 1782 and she was left to live on the farm with her abusive father and remaining siblings. Knowing this wasn’t the life she wanted to live, she took her own route.  In 1778 Mary worked as a translator and advisor for London publisher James Johnson who published several of her books including Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman (1798), and her most famous novel A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) which was the first book on feminism in Europe. A Vindication of the Rights of Women abolishes the idea that women are helpless servants of their household. In this book Wollstonecraft states that the key to women being given the same opportunities as men is being educated equally. This can be seen in the following quote: “Nature, in these respects, may safely be left to herself; let women only acquire knowledge and humanity, and love will teach them modesty.” (Wollstonecraft, 243)In this quote Wollstonecraft says that all we need to teach women is knowledge and humanity.

People in the 1700’s thought that educating women would inflate their egos, but Wollstonecraft believes that one of the major effects of good education is modesty, since the more one learns, the more one realizes there is a lot they don’t know. The ideas in the book were far ahead of it’s time and for that reason were found extremely controversial to the public.  After writing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Mary left England to move to Paris so that she could witness the French Revolution. While in Paris she meets and falls in love with an American adventurer named Captain Gilbert Imlay. Wollstonecraft spent her time in Paris writing novels with Imlay about the French revolution. In these novels Wollstonecraft vindicates the French Revolution by defending the idea of liberalism and says that French people should be able to cease their rights.

She does this because she is a liberal and believes that a person is born with their rights and if something goes wrong with them, they can be fixed. She debates this belief with Edmond Burke who is a conservative that believes that ones rights are inherited. Wollstonecraft is happy with this debate because she feels that her ideas are being heard and sees that women were politically involved during the French Revolution.

  In 1794 she gave birth to her first daughter, Fanny, who was born out of wedlock. A child being born out of wedlock was strongly looked down upon in Wollstonecraft’s time and she received a lot of criticism for doing so. A year after the birth of Fanny, Imlay ends his relationship with Mary. Devastated by this breakup Mary attempts suicide. After months of recovering from her suicide attempt, Mary decided to move back to England. In 1796 Mary started a new relationship with the founder of philosophical anarchism, William Godwin. Even though both Mary and William were against marriage they later got married because Wollstonecraft became pregnant and they wanted their child to be legitimate.

Their daughter Mary was born in 1797 who later wrote the famous novel: Frankenstein. Ten days after the birth of Mary, Wollstonecraft died form childbirth complications…     Wollstonecraft’s story was told in several biographies. Her first biography was written by her husband and was called Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1798).

For a long time Wollstonecraft’s scandals were more well known than her writings, such as her daughter Fanny being born out of wedlock. Her writings finally received more attention in the 1900’s, and in 2011 a picture of Wollstonecraft was projected onto the Palace of Westminster to honour what she did for women’s rights. Wollstonecraft’s writings caused tremendous improvements in the value society places on women’s rights, but also reflects on present issues of equality between the sexes. Mary Wollstonecraft is known today as the frontrunner of feminism.