Did you know that Mary Wollstonecraft was born today in 1759? She was an English philosopher, writer, and activist and advocate for women’s rights. During her life, women did not have many of the same opportunities for work, rights and education as men. Women were thought to be naturally not as smart or capable as men, and were often treated as such. Mary Wollstonecraft fought against that idea. In her writings, she insisted that women are not naturally inferior to men; it was lack of education that made women seem inferior and advocated for women to have access to education.
We hope you make the most of your education at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Before focusing on writing, Mary Wollstonecraft was employed as a lady’s companion, teacher, and governess, which were some of the only career options available for women at that time in history.
Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the few women of her time to try to make a living from writing. She wrote novels, stories for children, reviews of recently published works, philosophical articles, travel narratives, and histories of the French Revolution (in which she participated). Her most famous work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
Mary Wollstonecraft also wrote about the history of the French Revolution. She actually travelled to Paris in 1792, shortly before Louis Xvi was guillotined. She met Gilbert Imlay there, who fathered a child with her, but they did not officially marry. Eventually Gilbert Imlay left Mary Wollstonecraft in France, where she remained alone, with an infant, in the middle of a revolution. Finally, in 1795, Mary Wollstonecraft returned to England.
Mary Wollstonecraft’s children were Fanny Imlay (born while Mary was in France) and Mary Goodwin. Mary Goodwin later became an accomplished writer herself, better known by her married name, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.