Inspirational Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes

Mary Wollstonecraft (27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. This post features some Inspirational Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes.

During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children’s book. Wollstonecraft is best known for 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.

Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft’s life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships, received more attention than her writing. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay (by whom she had a daughter, Fanny Imlay), Wollstonecraft married the philosopher William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement.

Wollstonecraft died at the age of 38, eleven days after giving birth to her second daughter, leaving behind several unfinished manuscripts. This daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, became an accomplished writer herself, as Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes
Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes

Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes

“Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded on principle, and cemented by time.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“The beginning is always today.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable – and life is more than a dream.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he just mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“If we revert to history, we shall find that the women who have distinguished themselves have neither been the most beautiful nor the most gentle of their sex.”
Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes

“My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Judicious books enlarge the mind and improve the heart.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Simplicity and sincerity generally go hand in hand, as both proceed from a love of truth.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“I never wanted but your heart–that gone, you have nothing more to give.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed – my dearest pleasure when free.”
Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes

“But what a weak barrier is truth when it stands in the way of an hypothesis!”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Weakness may excite tenderness, and gratify the arrogant pride of man; but the lordly caresses of a protector will not gratify a noble mind that pants for, and deserves to be respected. Fondness is a poor substitute for friendship.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Women ought to have representatives, instead of being arbitrarily governed without any direct share allowed them in the deliberations of government.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“The divine right of husbands, like the divine right of kings, may, it is hoped, in this enlightened age, be contested without danger.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Make them free, and they will quickly become wise and virtous, as men become more so; for the improvement must be mutual, or the injustice which one half of the human race are obliged to submit to, retorting on their oppressors, the virtue of men will be worm-eaten by the insect whom he keeps under his feet.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will quickly become good wives; – that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“If women be educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“It is time to effect a revolution in female manners – time to restore to them their lost dignity – and make them, as a part of the human species, labour by reforming themselves to reform the world. It is time to separate unchangeable morals from local manners.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“Weakness may excite tenderness, and gratify the arrogant pride of man; but the lordly caresses of a protector will not gratify a noble mind that pants for, and deserves to be respected. Fondness is a poor substitute for friendship.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

“But women are very differently situated with respect to eachother – for they are all rivals (…) Is it then surprising that when the sole ambition of woman centres in beauty, and interest gives vanity additional force, perpetual rivalships should ensue? They are all running the same race, and would rise above the virtue of morals, if they did not view each other with a suspicious and even envious eye.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft

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