Mary Wollstonecraft

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Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an English philosopher and feminist. She suggested that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagined a social order founded on reason. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792).

The most commonly cited source on Mary Wollstonecraft is Caroline Franklin's Mary Wollstonecraft: A Literary Life. No fan of Wollstonecraft, Caroline lays out the more distasteful events of her life, including premarital sex resulting in a child, opiate addiction and previously undiscovered work as a courtesan to William Pitt. She held Jacobin sympathies and publicly renounced her Christian faith whilst in Paris during the French Revolution. Franklin also hints at Wollstonecraft's lesbian sympathies, as suggested by her husband William Godwin following her death from septicemia in 1797 after giving birth to her and Godwin's daughter Mary, who went on to marry Percy Bysshe Shelley and to write the novel Frankenstein.[1]