Mary Godwin (Wollstonecraft) (1759 - 1797) MP

‹ Back to Godwin surname

Is your surname Godwin?

Research the Godwin family

Mary Wollstonecraft's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Birthplace: London, England
Death: Died
Cause of death: childbed fever
Managed by: Milagros Mata de Carnevali
Last Updated:

About Mary Godwin (Wollstonecraft)

"I am going to be the first of a new genus. I am not born to tread in the beaten track - the peculiar bent of my nature pushes me on" Mary Wollstonecraft in letter to Everina, 1774

Mary Wollstonecraft (pronounced /ˈwʊlstən.krɑːft/; was born on 27 April 1759 in London, England and died 10 September 1797) of childbed fever. She was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights.

Parents: John Edward Wollstonecraft (1736-1803) and Elizabeth Dickson (1729-1782)

http://snl.no/Mary_Wollstonecraft

http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/wollstonecraft.html

Partners:

  1. liaison in 1793 to Gilbert Imrey (1754-1828)
  2. married 29 March 1997 to William Godwin (3 March 1756-7 April 1836)

Children of Mary Wollstonecraft and Gilbert Imrey

  1. Frances Imrey b 14 May 1794 d 11 Oct 1816

Children of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin

  1. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin b 30 Aug 1797 d 1 Feb 1851 m Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Summary

Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships, received more attention than her writing. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay (by whom she had a daughter, Fanny Imlay), Wollstonecraft married the philosopher William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement. Wollstonecraft died at the age of thirty-eight, ten days after giving birth to her second daughter, leaving behind several unfinished manuscripts. Her daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, later Mary Shelley, would become an accomplished writer herself.

After Wollstonecraft's death, her widower published a Memoir (1798) of her life, revealing her unorthodox lifestyle, which inadvertently destroyed her reputation for almost a century. However, with the emergence of the feminist movement at the turn of the twentieth century, Wollstonecraft's advocacy of women's equality and critiques of conventional femininity became increasingly important. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and work as important influences.

First Feminist

The extraordinary and controversial life of Mary Wollstonecraft could so easily be an 18th century novel. Seldom without melodrama, incident and tragedy, the reputation and personality of the author overshadowed Wollstonecraft's ideas and writing for a long period of time.

As well as being a successful writer Mary was quite well travelled, a teacher, a translator, the provider for an extended family, a mistress and a mother before becoming a wife. Exceptionally well organised and outspoken, Mary was also a defender of the weak, a passionate although partisan, first hand witness to the French Revolution and was well known and admired by some of the leading intellectuals, politicians, polemicists, publishers, poets, painters, novelists and historians of the day (1998 Wollstonecraft, pp.vvi).

It was not the diverse experiences and lively intellectual circle of friends, which made the focused Mary the subject of such keen interest both then and now. Instead, Mary Wollstonecraft's place in history is built upon integrity, the clarity and passion of her writing skills, both as an astute social commentator and philosopher and one of the original advocates to pioneer the Womens Movement.

Although often referred to as the First Feminist and admired as both a radical and inspirational writer, Mary Wollstonecraft was not solely concerned with womens issues. The author asserted the innate rights of all people, who were victims of a society that assigned people their roles, comforts, and satisfactions according to the false distinctions of class, age, religion and gender. (Jones 1999-2004)

Links

Works on Line

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft ( /ˈwʊlstən.krɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.

Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships, received more attention than her writing. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay (by whom she had a daughter, Fanny Imlay), Wollstonecraft married the philosopher William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement. Wollstonecraft died at the age of thirty-eight, ten days after giving birth to her second daughter, leaving behind several unfinished manuscripts. Her daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, later Mary Shelley, would become an accomplished writer herself.

After Wollstonecraft's death, her widower published a Memoir (1798) of her life, revealing her unorthodox lifestyle, which inadvertently destroyed her reputation for almost a century. However, with the emergence of the feminist movement at the turn of the twentieth century, Wollstonecraft's advocacy of women's equality and critiques of conventional femininity became increasingly important. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and work as important influences.

view all

Mary Wollstonecraft's Timeline

1759
April 27, 1759
London, England
1792
1792
Age 32
UK
1794
1794
Age 34
UK
1797
August 30, 1797
Age 38
Sussex, England
September 10, 1797
Age 38
September 10, 1797
Age 38
????