My history hero: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97)

Comedian, writer and actress Jo Brand chooses Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97) as her history hero

A portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft. "She desperately wanted women to have the chance of an education and not set their sights too low," says Jo Brand. (Getty Images)

This article first appeared in the June 2013 issue of BBC History Magazine

Mary Wollstonecraft was a London-born philosopher and early advocate of women’s rights. She is best known for her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) in which she argued that women are not naturally inferior to men. Wollstonecraft had an unconventional private life before marrying the philosopher William Godwin. She died 12 days after the birth of her second daughter, Mary, who found fame as the author of the novel Frankenstein (1818).

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