Mary WollstoneCraft


Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) was published at the end of the 18th century, in the period of intellectual upheaval that followed in the wake of the Enlightenment. With the gradual erosion of monarchical authority (culminating with the French Revolution in 1789), and the birth of democracy, the question of the rights of men engendered lively debate — but a woman’s lot remained unconsidered. Wollstonecraft, however, was determined to change this and to add a dissenting female voice to the chorus debating political emancipation. Best known as a radical feminist, Wollstonecraft wrote about politics, history, and various aspects of philosophy in a number of different genres that included critical reviews, translations, pamphlets, and novels. With Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and other works, she also shaped the art of travel writing as a literary genre and, through her account of her journey through Scandinavia, she had an impact on the Romantic movement.