Selection of the Month

Wollstonecraft title page 

Mary Wollstonecraft

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects

London : J. Johnson, 1796

3rd edition

Gould Library Special Collections 

March is Women’s History Month, and our Selection honors one of the founders of feminist philosophy: Mary Wollstonecraft.

Born in England in 1759, Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for authoring this book, originally written and published in 1792. In it, Wollstonecraft argues that women and men possess the same intellectual capacity, and points out that women have been deprived of equal access to education, for which she advocates. She also provides an extensive critique of conventional notions of femininity. Before her death at the age of 38 in 1797, Wollstonecraft gave birth to two daughters, one of whom, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, grew up to become an accomplished author in her own right, penning Frankenstein as Mary Shelley in 1818.