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Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), Writer and feminist; wife of William Godwin

Sitter in 6 portraits
A political radical and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Wollstonecraft is now regarded as one of the founders of modern British feminism. As a writer she made a powerful case for emancipating and educating women. She was a member of the London-based radical intellectual circle that included Tom Paine and William Godwin, whom she later married. She welcomed the French Revolution and travelled to Paris where she witnessed Louis XVI going to the guillotine in 1793. Godwin's startlingly frank Memoirs of Mary Wollstonecraft (1798) dominated the public perception of her for decades. Their daughter was the author, Mary Shelley, who wrote the novel Frankenstein.

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Mary Wollstonecraft

by John Opie
oil on canvas, circa 1797
On display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1237


Mary Wollstonecraft

by William Ridley, published by Thomas Bellamy, after John Opie
stipple engraving, published 1 February 1796
NPG D2787


Mary Wollstonecraft

by James Heath, published by Daniel Isaac Eaton, after John Opie
stipple engraving, (circa 1797)
NPG D32605


Mary Wollstonecraft

by James Heath, published by Daniel Isaac Eaton, after John Opie
stipple engraving, (circa 1797)
NPG D14469


Mary Wollstonecraft

by John Chapman, after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, published 1798
NPG D7842


Mary Wollstonecraft

by Roy, after Unknown artist
etching and aquatint, after physionotrace, early 19th century
NPG D2788


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