Document Type

Working Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

This is an unpublished working paper that has not been peer-reviewed.


This paper examines the life of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the wife of the philosopher William Goodwin and mother of Mary Shelley author of Frankenstein, through the prism of the principles of conduct set out in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman that Mary Wollstonecraft wrote over the period 1790 to 1792. In particular the paper focuses on the role of reason, virtue, and knowledge developed in A Vindication in establishing principles of conduct and the extent to which Mary’s own conduct can be reconciled with the precepts she advocated.