Mary Wollstonecraft

Antje Blank (University of Glasgow)
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Mary Wollstonecraft rose to public prominence as one of the leading contenders in the debate concerning the French Revolution and its impact on British political and cultural life. Connected with the most influential liberal intellectuals of the 1790s – William Godwin, Thomas Holcroft, Tom Paine, Helen Maria Williams and Mary Hays – she was the first to extend a revolutionary ideology of man's natural right to determine his own destiny to gender issues. Wollstonecraft's works fell into disrepute when posthumous publication of her unconventional life occasioned a barrage of anti-Jacobin abuse, which portrayed her feminist demands as the source of moral corruption and her death in childbirth as a providential punishment for her desire to “unsex” women.

Wollstonecraft was born in

1870 words

Citation: Blank, Antje. "Mary Wollstonecraft". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001 [, accessed 15 July 2024.]

5180 Mary Wollstonecraft 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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