Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Mary Wollstonecraft

 Post Reply Post Reply
Poll Question: Mary Wollstonecraft
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [50.00%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [50.00%]
You can not vote in this poll

Author
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mary Wollstonecraft
    Posted: 18-Feb-2012 at 15:46

What is your opinion of Mary Wollstonecraft?


Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797

Mary Wollstonecraft, the daughter of a handkerchief weaver, was born in Spitalfields, London in 1759. The family moved a great deal during Mary's childhood and she lived for periods at Epping, Barking, Beverley, Hoxton, Walworth and Laugharne in Wales.

In 1784 Mary Wollstonecraft opened a school in Newington Green, a small village close to Hackney, with her sister Eliza and a friend, Fanny Blood. Soon after arriving in Newington Green, Mary made friends with Richard Price, a minister at the local Dissenting Chapel. Price and his friend, Joseph Priestly, were the leaders of a group of men known as Rational Dissenters.

Price had written several books including the very influential Review of the Principal Questions of Morals (1758) where he argued that individual conscience and reason should be used when making moral choices. Price also rejected the traditional Christian ideas of original sin and eternal punishment. As a result of these religious views, some Anglicans accused Rational Dissenters of being atheists.

Although Mary was brought up as an Anglican, she soon began attending Richard Price's chapel. Price held radical political views and had encountered a great deal of hostility when he supported the cause of American independence. At Price's home Mary Wollstonecraft met other leading radicals including the publisher, Joseph Johnson. He was impressed by Mary's ideas on education and commissioned her to write a book on the subject. In Thoughts on the Education of Girls, published in 1786, Mary attacked traditional teaching methods and suggested new topics that should be studied by girls. Two years later Wollstonecraft helped Johnson to found the journal Analytical Review.

In November, 1789, Richard Price preached a sermon praising the French Revolution. Price argued that British people, like the French, had the right to remove a bad king from the throne. Edmund Burke, was appalled by this sermon and wrote a reply called Reflections on the Revolution in France where he argued in favour of the inherited rights of the monarchy. Wollstonecraft was upset by Burke's attack on her friend and she decided to defend him by writing a pamphlet A Vindication of the Rights of Man. In her pamphlet Wollstonecraft not only supported Price but also pointed out what she thought was wrong with society. This included the slave trade, the game laws and way that the poor were treated.

The publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Man brought Wollstonecraft to the attention of other radical thinkers such as Tom PaineJohn CartwrightJohn Horne TookeWilliam Godwin and William Blake. Wollstonecraft met several of these men including Godwin who was busily writing a book on Political Justice. In 1791 the first part of Tom Paine's Rights of Man was published. This book created a burst of radical activity and although Paine was forced to flee the country, others were determined to carry on the struggle in England. Soon after Rights of Man appeared, two of Britain's leading Rational Dissenters, Richard Price andJoseph Priestly, formed the Unitarian Society, an organisation that was to have a profound influence on religious and political ideas in Britain.

The following year Mary Wollstonecraft published her most important book, Vindication of the Rights of Women. In the book Wollstonecraft attacked the educational restrictions that kept women in a state of "ignorance and slavish dependence." She was especially critical of a society that encouraged women to be "docile and attentive to their looks to the exclusion of all else." Wollstonecraft described marriage as "legal prostitution" and added that women "may be convenient slaves, but slavery will have its constant effect, degrading the master and the abject dependent."

The ideas in Wollstonecraft's book were truly revolutionary and caused tremendous controversy. One critic described Wollstonecraft as a "hyena in petticoats".Mary Wollstonecraft argued that to obtain social equality society must rid itself of the monarchy as well as the church and military hierarchies. Mary Wollstonecraft's views even shocked fellow radicals. Whereas advocates of parliamentary reform such as Jeremy Bentham and John Cartwright had rejected the idea of female suffrage, Wollstonecraft argued that the rights of man and the rights of women were one and the same thing.

In 1793 Edmund Burke led the attack on the radicals in Britain. He described the London Corresponding Society and the Unitarian Society as "loathsome insects that might, if they were allowed, grow into giant spiders as large as oxen". King George IIIissued a proclamation against seditious writings and meetings, threatening serious punishments for those who refused to accept his authority.

In June, 1793 Mary decided to move to France with the American writer, Gilbert Imlay. The following year, Mary gave birth to Fanny. After her relationship with Imlay came to an end she returned to London. Mary married William Godwin in March, 1797 and soon afterwards, a second daughter, Mary, was born. The baby was healthy but the placenta was retained in the womb. The doctor's attempt to remove the placenta resulted in blood poisoning and Mary died on 10th September, 1797.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wwollstonecraft.htm

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
Centrix Vigilis View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar

Joined: 18-Aug-2006
Location: The Llano
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7392
  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2012 at 11:39

From the suffragette viewpoint I imagine she is heralded as a founding lioness.

 
Personally... what ever value may be attributed to her efforts to stimulate social equality for women in her era are over shadowed  by her successors for me. People like Sanger the abortionist butcher, eugenics promoter and covert bigot; are, imo, to closely allied....for me to be comfortable.


Edited by Centrix Vigilis - 19-Feb-2012 at 11:39
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

Back to Top
Don Quixote View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 29-Dec-2010
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4735
  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Feb-2012 at 21:43
She was too radical to be realistic, IMHO. One cannot get rid of all that promotes order and hierarchy - many nations are monarchies and are doing great, and the military forces would be inoperable if the hierarchy is to be removed. Getting rid of organized religions is not making it any better, in fact this means governmental control, as only a very totalitarian societies can do that, and having such society is not exactly freedom for anyone, men or women.

A can say that she was a brave woman, but I personally can support only the voting rights and equal education for women out of all she stood for. More than a bravery is needed for one's ideas to be really valuable. I can say that all pioneers in something overdo what they did, but this is not much of a help either. I cannot really give her more than "good", only because she was more than ordinary, even though "good" is too strong, since I can support only less than half of her ideas, the rest is unrealistic.
Back to Top
History Student X View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 02-Mar-2012
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3
  Quote History Student X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2012 at 11:32
I think that Mary Wollstonecraft was really ahead of her time, in regards to her feminist ideas.  The ideas of a woman were not considered in her time.  She had ideas that o other woman, or a man for that matter, would have thought of or published.  She took a risk to publish her ideas.   
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.156 seconds.