Friday, September 10, 2010

In History: Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley

This is the 42nd post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

Mary Wollstonecraft, born in Britain in 1759, died this day, Sept. 10, in 1797 at age 38, 10 days after she gave birth to her daughter, Mary Shelley. This is quite the mother-daughter duo, even though they didn't know one another.

Wollstonecraft worked as a translator, reviewer and she wrote a number of books, in a time when not many women made their living as a writer. She is probably best known for her work "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. (You can read the book online at Google Books, and you can download an audio version of it at LibriVox.) You can see a list of her other works here, a timeline of her life here, find a number of her other books online here, and read more about her here, which also has a good list of links.

Mary Shelley, born Aug. 30, 1797, was also a writer, best known for writing and publishing "Frankenstein" at age 19, (nineteen!) though she also wrote many other books, stories and essays. "Frankenstein" is available on Google Books, and the audio version is available on LibriVox. You can find more of her works online here, and more about her writing here.

I highly recommend reading more about these two incredible authors, as I can't do their lives justice in this short post.

Photos source: Wikipedia

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