Mary Hays entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Mary Hays is one of the best-known among the group of radical feminists surrounding Mary Wollstonecraft; she is notable for arguing from emotion, even passion, as well as reason. She wrote two novels, poetry, and a number of polemical and biographical works.
4 May 1759 MH was born in Southwark, London, into a family that in the end numbered at least six children.  Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1782 MH's poem entitled "Invocation to the Nightingale" (opening "Wand'ring o'er the dewy meadow") appeared as by 'Miss Heys' in the final volume of James Harrison's collected Lady's Poetical Magazine.  Bibliographic Citation link.
July 1796 MH wrote in the Monthly Magazine about the need for a collection of inspiring biographies of women, which may be seen as the germ of her own collection of 1802. Bibliographic Citation link.
November 1796 MH published, with her name, her first, autobiographical, novel, Memoirs of Emma Courtney, which presents its heroine unacceptably focussed on the pursuit of education, self-development, and love.  Bibliographic Citation link.
By December 1802 MH published with her name, in six volumes with 1803 on its title-page, Female Biography; or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, of All Ages and Countries. Alphabetically Arranged.  Bibliographic Citation link.
Summer 1821 MH published with her name, unfinished, her second biography collection, Memoirs of Queens, Illustrious and Celebrated.  Bibliographic Citation link.
20 February 1843 MH died at Lower Clapton; Henry Crabb Robinson heard the news on the same day. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
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