Mary Wollstonecraft

WAG 1541


This is a portrait of the pioneering author, philosopher and women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97). Wollstonecraft campaigned throughout her life for the rights of women. Her ground-breaking book, ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ (1792), claimed that women had the right to experience and express sexual desire. It paved the way for more liberal attitudes to female sexuality. Today, many feminists and LGBT activists name Wollstonecraft as an influence on them. The British writer Caitlin Moran described herself as ‘half Wollstonecraft’ in 2012.