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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.