biographies – m. wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was born on 27 April 1759 and died on 10 September 1797. Her name is mainly linked with her famous daughter Mary Shelley, author of the Gothic and science fiction novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. She was an English writer, philosopher, author of novels and treatises. Her has been more known than her writing – her failed love affair with the Swiss painter Henry Fuseli, with Gilbert Imlay, an American businessman, author, and diplomat with whom she had a daughter and , above all, her marriage to with William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement. She died at the age of thirty-eight, ten days after giving life to her second daughter, Mary – later Mary Shelly. Posthumously her husband published a Memoir (1798) of her life about her unusual way of living, provocative for that period. Fortunately her defense of women’s equality and her critiques of conventional femininity were revalued the late 20th century with the emergence of the feminist movement. In Mary Wollstonecraft’s book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, they only lack education and suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings, hoping for a social community based on reason. Other texts include The Subjection of Women (1869); The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884); The Second Sex (1949); The Feminine Mystique (1963); The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (1970); The Creation of Patriarchy (1986); Gender Trouble (1990).

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