Mary Wollstonecraft

Dear readers, I missed you! 

In today’s article I am going to be talking about a brilliant and powerful woman who is nowadays still considered to be the founder of the liberal feminism.

Mary Wollstenecraft was born in London in 1759; after her submissive and cold mother died, she left her abusive and drunk father, and managed to convince her sister Eliza and her friend Fanny Blood to join her and start an independent life. The three ladies founded a school for girls which provided a modest income; a few years later, Fanny died while giving birth and the school had to close from financial hardship. To get away from it all, Mary decided to move to Ireland, where she started working as a governess. After very little, she realised she truly hated her job and that she wanted to dedicate herself completely to authorship. In 1787 she published Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, and five years later she completed the writing of her most infamous work: Vindication of the Rights of Women. Wollstonecraft argued that women should have been given the very same educational opportunities as men. Indeed, women weren’t given enough things to occupy their minds with: this situation led them to become literal domestic tyrants! People had to start to treat women as rational beings and to let them develop their own character. 

Mary then moved to Paris where she met the charming Captain Gilbert Imlay; soon after, she gave birth to her first baby girl that she named Fanny, in honour of her dear friend. Nonetheless, Captain Gilbert Imlay decided to leave her. Mary was devasted: she attempted suicide not once, but twice. Still, she gradually started to comprehend that she needed some space. After her healing process was done, she met the kind and reserved William Godwin: he was a Romantic philosopher and he’s considered to be the first modern proponent of anarchism. The two got married, and Mary in 1787 gave birth to another girl, Mary Godwin (later to be known as the exceptional Mary Shelley, the infamous author of Frankenstein!). Unfortunately, Mary died ten days later. Her last words were that Godwin was the kindest and best man in the world. 

To all the ladies out there, never forget how powerful you are. Do not ever diminish your incredible potential, do not ever give up. And remember: boys are a nice plus, but not necessarily essential. 

Unluckily, this is going to be the last article of the year: I sincerely wish you the best summer ever!

Costanza Caramore, II LCS