Mary Wollstonecraft


1759 - 1797

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Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an English author who rose to prominence in radical circles with a very quick response to Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) in which she defended the idea of natural rights. She extended her analysis two years later to defend the idea of equal rights for women in one of the founding texts of modern feminism - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Wollstonecraft lived in France during the Revolution and wrote an early history of that event. She also wrote travel letters and novels. In 1797 she married the radical political philosopher William Godwin. Her daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, later Mary Shelley, wrote the novel Frankenstein (1818).