Mary Wollstonecraft

Standard Name: Wollstonecraft, Mary
Birth Name: Mary Wollstonecraft
Married Name: Mary Godwin
Pseudonym: Mr Cresswick, Teacher of Elocution
Pseudonym: M.
Pseudonym: W.
MW has a distinguished historical place as a feminist: as theorist, critic and reviewer, novelist, and especially as an activist for improving women's place in society. She also produced pedagogy or conduct writing, an anthology, translation, history, analysis of politics as well as gender politics, and a Romantic account of her travels in Scandinavia.
Stipple engraving of Mary Wollstonecraft by James Heath after the painting by John Opie. She is wearing a light, loosely-fitting gown with high waist and a folded cap like a turban.
"Mary Wollstonecraft" Retrieved from,_half-length_portrait,_facing_left_LCCN2004680088.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Evelyn Sharp
ES contributed an entry on Mary Wollstonecraft to a large volume edited by A. Barratt Brown , entitled Great Democrats.
Clark, Beverly Lyon, and Evelyn Sharp. “Introduction”. The Making of a Schoolgirl, Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 3 - 23.
Birth Katharine S. Macquoid
She was baptised on 23 February at St Pancras Old Church (in whose graveyard Mary Wollstonecraft was buried). Her baptismal record spelled her name Catherine.
The International Genealogical Index records another Catherine Thomas born later...
Characters Joanna Baillie
Countess Albini in Count Basil is a heroine in the same mould as Jane De Monfort: critic Anne Mellor calls her not only the embodiment of rational judgement but also Baillie's homage to Mary Wollstonecraft
death William Godwin
WG , novelist, political philosopher, widower of Mary Wollstonecraft , and father of Mary Shelley , died in London.
Sherburn, George, and William Godwin. “Introduction”. Caleb Williams, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1960, p. vii - xx.
Education Anna Wheeler
In between constant pregnancies and nursing, AW began to educate herself. She read French and German philosophy and the classics, which she had imported from England. The most influential text she read was Mary Wollstonecraft
Education Louisa May Alcott
She was also a great self-educator and took to reading everything from Bunyan 's Pilgrim's Progress to Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter (he was a family friend). She particularly admired Mary Wollstonecraft and also warmed...
Education Fay Weldon
Fay attended another progressive establishment, the co-educational Burgess Hill School , which she found absurd, not only noisy and disorderly but actively anti-academic. The best thing about it was being taught English briefly by the...
Education Dora Carrington
Carrington began to alter herself in other ways also. During her first term at the Slade she began to go by her surname only.
Hill, Jane, and Michael Holroyd. The Art of Dora Carrington. Herbert Press, 1994.
Excitement about her new surroundings and acquaintances prompted her to...
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Shelley
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin , over her mother 's grave in St Pancras churchyard, told Percy Bysshe Shelley that she loved him.
Mellor, Anne K. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. Routledge, 1988.
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Shelley
Fanny Imlay , sister of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and elder daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft , killed herself in a boarding-house in Swansea.
Sunstein, Emily W. Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality. Little, Brown, 1989.
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Cowden Clarke
Both Novellos were close friends of Mary Shelley during the 1820s. Mary gave Vincent a lock of the hair of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft .
Crook, Nora. “Fourteen New Letters by Mary Shelley”. Keats-Shelley Journal, pp. 37 -61.
Family and Intimate relationships William Godwin
He was already famous (or, to some, infamous) for his writings when he and Mary Wollstonecraft became lovers in August 1796. They married on 29 March 1797 (although both of them disapproved of the institution...
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Shelley
MS 's mother, feminist author and thinker Mary Wollstonecraft , died eleven days after giving her birth.
Hill-Miller, Katherine C. ’My Hideous Progeny’: Mary Shelley, William Godwin, and the Father-Daughter Relationship. University of Delaware Press; Associated University Presses, 1995.
In the family home while Mary was growing up, Wollstonecraft's portrait was still prominently displayed.
Jump, Harriet Devine. “Monstrous Stepmother: Mary Shelley and Mary Jane Godwin”. Women’s Writing, No. 3, pp. 297 -08.
Family and Intimate relationships Amelia Opie
This was John Opie's second marriage; his first wife had deserted him and their marriage had been dissolved by act of parliament. The second marriage remained childless. John Opie had been enjoying professional success in...
Family and Intimate relationships Fanny Holcroft
In May 1794 Thomas Holcroft was indicted for high treason and spent time in prison; but he was acquitted at his trial. During the nine years between the death of Fanny's mother and his next...


December 1765
In the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London, a parish council meeting heard several Disputes whether women householders who paid the poor rate had a Right to Vote for Parish Officers.
Gilbert's Act stated that only the disabled should receive poor relief in workhouses; the able-bodied were to find work outside, or be provided with outdoor relief if there was no work.
After 1 February 1785
M. Peddle (a gifted, little-known, Evangelical woman of Yeovil in Somerset, who later issued a conduct book under the name of Cornelia) published a biblical paraphrase in novelistic style: The Life of Jacob.
May 1788
The Analytical Review: or history of literature domestic and foreign began publication, edited by Thomas Christie and published by Joseph Johnson .
March 1791-March 1796
The Bon Ton Magazine, or, Microscope of Fashion and Folly set out to chart the sex scandals of the day, with close attention to court cases, gossip, and the implications for social class.
Thomas Gisborne 's Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex (a reaction to the writings of radicals like Wollstonecraft ) was published.
Richard Polwhele published The Unsex'd Females, his notorious attack on Wollstonecraft and other active radicals.
April 1798
With debating clubs under threat from British government repression, and the brief era of women's debating clubs over, one club debated the topic of women's writing versus women's domesticity.
2 July 1798
The conservative Lady's Monthly Museum: or polite repository of amusement and instruction published its first number. Sometimes called The Ladies' Monthly Museum . . . it ran until the 1830s.
9 July 1798
George Canning , writing in the Anti-Jacobin, lambasted sensibility as a literary mode stemming from France, from Rousseau , and from diseased fancy, effeminacy, and self-obsession.
George Nicholson compiled and published at Poughnill near Ludlow in ShropshireThe Advocate and Friend of Woman, an anthology of excerpts.
Between 1881 and 1886
Elizabeth Cady Stanton , Susan B. Anthony , and Matilda Joslyn Gage published the first three volumes of their History of Woman Suffrage. They dedicated the first volume to the memory of Mary Wollstonecraft .
9 July 1885
Karl Pearson (then a solemn, rationalist young barrister) held the first meeting of a society designed to talk about sex in a spirit of high seriousness and sense of intellectual adventure:
Walkowitz, Judith R. “Science, Feminism and Romance: The Men and Women’s Club 1885-1889”. History Workshop Journal, No. 1, pp. 36 -59.
the Men and Women's Club
Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer published their influential Studies on Hysteria, a foundational text for psychoanalysis.