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Wollstonecraft, Mary

  • By: Bill Kte'pi
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97) was an 18th-century British feminist and one of the best-known feminist writers of her day, despite dying at the young age of 38. She is best remembered for her Vindication of the Rights of Women, her unconventional personal life, and the influence her legacy had on her daughter, the future Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. Shelley was 10 days old when her mother died.

Born in London, Wollstonecraft was forced to grow up quickly, helping to raise her younger sisters and attempting to protect her mother from the drunken beatings of Mr. Wollstonecraft, who lost much of the family's money (including the young girl's inheritance from relatives) on unwise investments. At the age of 19 she was able to temporarily escape her home ...

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