On This Day

Mary Wollstonecraft

Author and Women's Rights Advocate Mary Wollstonecraft

Profession: Author and Women's Rights Advocate

Nationality:
England
English

Why Famous: Regarded today as one of the founding feminist authors, Wollstonecraft wrote, in 1792, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she argued that women were not naturally inferior to men and should be treated equally in a society based on reason. She also wrote several other novels, a children's book, a travel narrative and a history of the French Revolution.

After her death, her widower William Godwin published a memoir of her life, revealing her unconventional relationships and affairs. This had the effect of ruining her reputation for more than a century, until the emergence of the feminist movement at near the beginning of the 20th century.

Wollstonecraft died eleven days after giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley, who wrote the Frankenstein horror novel.

Born: April 27, 1759
Birthplace: Spitalfields, London, England
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: September 10, 1797 (aged 38)
Cause of Death: Septicaemia following the birth of her daughter Mary Shelley

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1797-03-29 Writer Mary Wollstonecraft marries philopher and journalist William Godwin