A MOTHER’S LOVE

MARY WOLL­STONECRAFT

History Revealed - - MARY SHELLEY FRANKENSTEIN’S MOTHER -

Mary Woll­stonecraft was a writer and pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate of equal­ity for women. Her sem­i­nal work, A Vin­di­ca­tion

of the Rights of Women (1792), ar­gued that the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem was at that time specif­i­cally de­signed to pro­duce women who were petty, pretty and weak.

She spent time in Paris dur­ing the French Rev­o­lu­tion, where she had an af­fair with an Amer­i­can cap­tain, with whom she had a daugh­ter (Mary God­win’s half-sis­ter, Fanny), but, when that re­la­tion­ship fell apart, she at­tempted to com­mit sui­cide.

Re­cov­ered, she re­turned home and joined a group of rad­i­cals that in­cluded Wil­liam Blake, Thomas Paine, Wil­liam Wordsworth and her fu­ture hus­band, Wil­liam God­win.

After her death – per­haps be­cause of it – Woll­stonecraft had a huge in­flu­ence on her daugh­ter’s life. Mary even learned to read by touch­ing the let­ters carved into her mother’s grave­stone at the age of three. She read and re-read her mother’s works so many times that she could re­cite some of them, and their themes and ar­gu­ments are in­te­gral to many of Mary’s own works.

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