Friday, November 28, 2008

Mary Wollstonecraft

I was born on April 27, 1759 in Hoxton, England. I spent most of my life living in London, but also traveled to France, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. My most famous work is A Vindication of the Rights of Women, but I am also known for Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, and A Vindication on the Rights of Men. This was a direct rebuttal to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. The subject I wrote most on was education reform, particularly for women, but for men as well. I believed that women were considered inferior to men because they were taught to please instead of having a real education. I advocated Bacon's inductive method and thought that women should learn using this method as well. The best was to make observations was to travel and learn form experience. The first editions of many of my works were published anonymously and my name was only added to the title page in subsequent editions. In A Vindication of the Rights of Women, I cited the ideas of Rousseau and agreed with some, but disliked how he did not extend his ideas to women. I was married only once, but had a daughter from a previous affair named Fanny. While married, my husband William Godwin and I lived in separate, but adjoining residences so that we could retain our independence. Our only daughter, Mary, would one day grow up to write Frankenstein. I am often considered to be the first feminist.

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