How Many Books Did Mary Wollstonecraft Write? A Comprehensive List

Mary Wollstonecraft Books

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Mary Wollstonecraft, a prominent writer and feminist of the 18th century, is known for her influential works that challenged societal norms and advocated for women’s rights. Her most well-known work, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” is still widely studied and discussed today. However, some may wonder how many books Wollstonecraft actually wrote throughout her career.

According to literary scholars, Wollstonecraft wrote a total of seven books during her lifetime, in addition to numerous essays and articles. Her first published work was “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters,” which was released in 1787. This was followed by “Mary: A Fiction,” which is considered to be one of the earliest examples of a feminist novel.

Wollstonecraft’s career as a writer was cut short when she tragically passed away at the age of 38 due to complications from childbirth. However, her impact on the world of literature and feminism continues to be felt to this day. In the following sections, we will take a closer look at some of Wollstonecraft’s most notable works and their significance in history.

Early Life and Education

Mary Wollstonecraft Books

Family Background

Mary Wollstonecraft was born on April 27, 1759, in Spitalfields, London. Her father, Edward John Wollstonecraft, was a successful handkerchief weaver, and her mother, Elizabeth Dixon, was a homemaker. Mary was the second of seven children. Her family was financially stable, but her father was an abusive alcoholic, which made her childhood difficult.

Formative Years

Mary’s education was limited, as she was a girl and her parents did not believe in educating girls. She attended a local school for a short time, but her education was mostly self-taught. She spent a lot of time reading books from her father’s library, which included works by John Milton, William Shakespeare, and Alexander Pope.


Mary’s early life was greatly influenced by the teachings of her mother, who was a devout Christian. She also spent a lot of time with her godmother, Fanny Blood, who was a feminist and an advocate for women’s education. Fanny introduced Mary to the writings of Mary Astell, a feminist writer who advocated for women’s education and independence.

In 1784, Mary moved to Newington Green in London, where she became involved with a group of intellectuals who met at the home of Richard Price, a prominent Unitarian minister. This group included Joseph Johnson, a publisher who would later publish many of Mary’s works, and William Blake, a poet and artist who would become a close friend of Mary’s.

Mary’s experiences in Newington Green, along with her own struggles as a woman in a patriarchal society, would inspire her to write her first book, “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters.” This book, which was published in 1787, argued that women were capable of rational thought and should be educated to become independent and self-sufficient.

Literary Career

Mary Wollstonecraft Books

Mary Wollstonecraft, a prominent writer and philosopher of the late 18th century, made significant contributions to the literary world during her short life. Her works, which focused on women’s rights and education, were influential in the feminist movement and continue to be studied and celebrated today.

Initial Works

Wollstonecraft’s literary career began in 1787 with her translation of a French work titled “Of the Importance of Religious Opinions.” She then went on to write “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters” in 1787, which was a popular work in its time and addressed the lack of educational opportunities for women.

Major Publications

Wollstonecraft’s most well-known work is “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” published in 1792. This groundbreaking work argued for the equality of the sexes and challenged traditional gender roles and expectations. She also wrote “Mary, A Fiction” in 1788, “Original Stories from Real Life” in 1791, and “The Wrongs of Woman” in 1798.

Contributions to Periodicals

In addition to her major publications, Wollstonecraft contributed to several periodicals, including the “Analytical Review” and “The Female Reader.” She also wrote “Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark” in 1796, which chronicled her travels and observations of Scandinavian society.

Throughout her career, Wollstonecraft worked closely with her publisher Joseph Johnson, who supported her ideas and helped her to reach a wider audience. Today, “The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft” continue to be studied and celebrated for their contributions to feminist thought and literary history.

Key Philosophical Themes

Mary Wollstonecraft Books

Mary Wollstonecraft was a prolific writer who tackled a wide range of topics in her works. Her philosophy was deeply rooted in her belief in reason, individualism, and the power of education to transform society. In this section, we will explore some of the key philosophical themes in her writings, focusing on two main areas: women’s rights and education, and political discourse.

Women’s Rights and Education

Wollstonecraft is perhaps best known for her seminal work, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” which argues that women are not inferior to men but are instead disadvantaged by a lack of education and opportunities. She believed that women should have access to the same education and opportunities as men and that this would enable them to become more virtuous, rational, and independent individuals.

In her writing, Wollstonecraft also challenged traditional gender roles and argued that women should be allowed to participate in all aspects of society. She believed that women were capable of contributing to politics, science, and the arts and that their exclusion from these fields was a result of social and cultural biases.

Political Discourse

Wollstonecraft was also deeply engaged in political discourse, particularly during the tumultuous period of the French Revolution. She was a strong advocate for democracy, equality, and human rights, and she saw the French Revolution as an opportunity to advance these ideals.

However, Wollstonecraft was also critical of the excesses of the Revolution, particularly the violence and bloodshed that characterized the Reign of Terror. She believed that true political change could only come about through reason and peaceful dialogue, rather than through violence and force.

Overall, Wollstonecraft’s philosophy was characterized by a commitment to reason, individualism, and social justice. Her ideas continue to influence feminist and political discourse to this day, and her legacy as a pioneering feminist thinker remains secure.

Personal Life

Mary Wollstonecraft Books

Mary Wollstonecraft is known for her contributions to literature, philosophy, and feminism. However, her personal life was fraught with challenges and tragedies.

Relationships and Marriage

Wollstonecraft had several significant relationships throughout her life. Her relationship with Gilbert Imlay, an American businessman, resulted in the birth of her daughter Fanny in 1794. However, Imlay abandoned Wollstonecraft and Fanny, which led to a period of deep depression for Wollstonecraft.

In 1797, Wollstonecraft married William Godwin, a philosopher and writer. The couple had a daughter, Mary, who would go on to become the author of Frankenstein. However, Wollstonecraft died shortly after giving birth to Mary due to complications from puerperal fever.

Final Years and Death

Wollstonecraft’s final years were marked by financial struggles and personal turmoil. She lived in London and continued to write, but her work did not bring in enough income to support her family.

Tragically, Wollstonecraft’s life was cut short when she died at the age of 38. Her death was caused by complications from childbirth, which was a common cause of death for women at the time. Despite her short life, Wollstonecraft’s contributions to literature and philosophy continue to inspire and influence people today.

Posthumous Influence and Legacy

Mary Wollstonecraft’s legacy extends beyond her own lifetime and her impact on the feminist movement and literature is still felt today. Despite only publishing a few works during her lifetime, her ideas and writings have influenced generations of feminist thinkers and writers.

Memoirs and Biographies

Wollstonecraft’s life has been the subject of numerous memoirs and biographies, including “Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” by her husband William Godwin, “Mary Wollstonecraft: A New Genus” by Lyndall Gordon, and “The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft” by Claire Tomalin. These works have helped to shape our understanding of Wollstonecraft’s life and work, and have contributed to her enduring legacy.

Impact on Feminism and Literature

Wollstonecraft’s most famous work, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” is considered a foundational text of modern feminism. In this work, she argues for women’s equality and challenges the prevailing notion that women are inferior to men. Her ideas about women’s education and empowerment have had a profound impact on feminist thought and continue to be influential today.

Wollstonecraft’s influence can also be seen in the work of her daughter, Mary Shelley, who wrote “Frankenstein” and was herself a pioneering feminist writer. Together with her mother, Shelley is often referred to as one half of the “Romantic Outlaws,” a term coined by Charlotte Gordon in her book of the same name.

In conclusion, Mary Wollstonecraft’s impact on feminism and literature cannot be overstated. Her ideas about women’s equality and empowerment continue to inspire and influence generations of feminist thinkers and writers.

Works and Publications List

Mary Wollstonecraft was a prolific writer who authored various works during her short life. Her writings covered a wide range of topics, including education, women’s rights, politics, and philosophy.

One of her most well-known works is “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” which was published in 1792. In this book, Wollstonecraft argued that women should have equal rights and opportunities as men, including access to education and the right to vote. This work is considered a seminal text in the feminist movement.

Wollstonecraft also wrote novels, including “Mary: A Fiction” and “Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman,” which explored themes of gender inequality and social injustice.

Additionally, she wrote several educational books, including “Original Stories from Real Life” and “Lessons for Children,” which emphasized the importance of reason and critical thinking in education.

In total, Wollstonecraft wrote nine books and numerous articles and essays. Her complete works were published in 1989 as “The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft,” which includes all of her published and unpublished writings.

Her personal letters were also collected and published in “The Collected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft,” which provides insight into her personal life and relationships.

Overall, Mary Wollstonecraft’s works continue to be influential in the fields of feminism, education, and philosophy.

Cultural and Academic Recognition

Mary Wollstonecraft’s contributions to feminist philosophy and education in the eighteenth century have gained recognition in cultural and academic circles. Her works, published during a time when women’s voices were not commonly heard, challenged traditional gender roles and advocated for women’s education and political rights.

Wollstonecraft’s most famous work, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” published in 1792, argued that women were not inferior to men, but rather lacked education and opportunities. This work made her a pioneer in feminist philosophy and helped pave the way for the women’s rights movement.

In addition to her advocacy for women’s education, Wollstonecraft also wrote on other philosophical topics, including political theory and morality. Her works were influential in shaping the intellectual discourse of her time and continue to be studied and debated by scholars today.

Despite the recognition of her contributions to philosophy and education, Wollstonecraft’s personal life and relationships have often been the focus of scrutiny and criticism. However, her ideas and writings continue to inspire and influence feminist thought and discourse.

Overall, Mary Wollstonecraft’s legacy as a philosopher and advocate for women’s rights remains an important part of intellectual history.

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