“Virtue can only flourish among equals.”
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) was a British writer, philosopher and advocate of women’s rights. She was also the mother of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, aka Mary Shelley who gave us “Frankenstein.”
Mary Wollstonecraft wrote novels, travel narratives, a conduct book and history of the French Revolution. She is best known for “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” which argues that women are not naturally inferior to men. After her death at the age of 38, a memoir published by her husband revealed an unconventional lifestyle, which inadvertently ruined her reputation for almost a century. Her ideas and writings experienced a rebirth with the appearance of the feminist movement at the turn of the twentieth century.
Mary Wollstonecraft’s life was a reflection of her values and beliefs. The age in which she lived was unable to grasp the significance of her ideas, but our age considers her to be one of the founding feminist philosophers. Her life and work continues to inspire and challenge.
“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman