Who wrote 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman'?
In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote an 87,000-word booklet about women’s rights to education called 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects'. It was one of the first books about feminism published in the 18th century. Wollstonecraft believed women should receive an education that befitted their social class. She argued that women were not possessions or property, but human beings with the same rights and needs as men.
Wollstonecraft was inspired to write the pamphlet after Irish statesman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) wrote an article about the French Revolution, calling women “furies from hell." Wollstonecraft retaliated, saying, “you mean women who gained a livelihood by selling vegetables or fish, who never had any advantages of education.”
Mary Wollstonecraft was born on 27th April 1759 in Spitalfields, London. As well as an advocate of women’s rights, she was a philosopher and writer. She was also the mother of Mary Shelley (1791-1851), the author of 'Frankenstein'. Unfortunately, Wollstonecraft passed away when her daughter was only one week old on 10th September 1797.
Future authors, such as Virginia Woolf (1888-1941), openly declared their respect for Wollstonecraft’s ideas. Millicent Garrett Fawcett (1847-1929), leader of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), claimed Wollstonecraft as the foremother of the struggle for the vote.