Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin | Elizabeth Robins Pennell | Biography & Autobiography | English | 1/5



chapter 0 of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by pamela Nogami mary wollstonecraft godwin by elizabeth robbins Pennell introduction few women have worked so faithfully for the cause of humanity as Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and few have been the objects of such censure she devoted herself to the relief of her suffering fellow beings with the ardor of a st. Vincent DePaul and in return she was considered by them a moral scourge of God because she had the courage to express opinions new to her generation and the independence to live according to her own standard of right and wrong she was denounced as another Messalina the young were bidden not to read her books and the more mature warned not to follow her example the miseries she endured being declared the just retribution of her actions indeed the infamy attached to her name is almost incredible in the present age when new theories are more patiently criticized and when purity of motive has been accepted as the vindication of at least one well-known breach of social laws the malignant attacks made upon her character since her death have been too widely known to be ignored but the life which follows may serve for their refutation as a rule the notices which were published after she was dead were harsher and more uncompromising than those written during her lifetime there were happily one or two exceptions the writer of her obituary in the monthly magazine for September 1797 speaks of her in terms of unlimited admiration but it is more than probable that it was written by a personal friend a year later the same magazine in its semiannual retrospective British literature expresses somewhat altered opinions the notice in the gentleman's magazine for October 1797 the month after her death was friendly but guarded in its praise in 1798 Godwin published his memoir of Mary Wollstonecraft together with her posthumous writings he hoped no doubt by a clear statement of the principal incidence of her life to moderate the popular feeling against her but he was the last person to have undertaken the task outside the small circle of friends and sympathizers who really loved him he was by no means popular there were some who even seemed to think that the greatest hardship of Mary's life was to have been his wife thus Roscoe after reading the memoir expressed the sentiments it aroused in him in the following lines hard was thy fate in all the scenes of life as daughter sister mother friend and wife but harder still thy fate in death we own thus mourned by Godwin with a heart of stone moreover Godwin's views about marriage as set forth in his political justice were held in such abhorrence that the fact that he approved of Mary's conduct was reason enough for the multitude to disapprove of it his book therefore was not a success as far as Mary's reputation was concerned and indeed increased rather than lessened the asperity of her detractors it was greeted by the European magazine for April 1798 almost immediately after its publication by one of the most scathing denunciations of Mary's character which had yet appeared in the opinion of the European magazine was the one most generally adopt and almost invariably recode when Mary Wollstonecraft's name was mentioned in print probably the article which was most influential in perpetuating the ill repute in which she stood with her contemporaries is the sketch of her life given in Chalmers biographical dictionary the papers and many books of the day soon passed out of sight but the dictionary was long used as a standard work of reference in this particular article every action of Mary's life was construed unfavorably and her character shamefully vilified below in the sexagenarian borrowed the scurrilous abuse of the biographical dictionary which was furthermore accepted by almost every history of English literature and encyclopedia as the correct estimate of Mary's character and teachings it is therefore no wonder that the immorality of her doctrines and unwomanly pneus of her conduct came to be believed in implicitly by the two credulous public that she fully deserved this disapprobation and contempt seemed to many confirmed by the fact that her daughter Mary Godwin consented to live with Shelley before their union could be legalized the independence of mother and daughter excited private as well as public animosity during all these years Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was not without defenders but their numbers were small Salvi was always enthusiastic in his admiration and his letters are full of her praises Shelley to offered her the tribute of his praise in verse but the mere admiration of Saudi and Shelley had little weight against popular prejudice year by year Mary's books were less frequently red and the prediction that in another generation her name would be unknown bade fair to be fulfilled but the latest of her admirers mr. kegan paul has by his zealous efforts her behalf succeeded in vindicating her character and reviving interest in her writings by his careful history of her life and noble words in her defense he has reestablished her reputation as he says himself only 80 years after her death has any serious attempt been made to set her right in the eyes of those who will choose to see her as she was his attempt has been successful no one after reading her sad story as he tells it in his life of Godwin can doubt her moral uprightness his statement of her case attracted the attention it deserved two years after it appeared miss Matilda blind published in the new quarterly review a paper containing a brief sketch of the incidents he recorded and expressing an honest recognition of this good but much maligned woman and of introduction chapter one of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin by Elizabeth Robbins Pennell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Pamela nogami childhood and early youth 1759 to 1778 Mary Wollstonecraft was born on the twenty-seventh of April 1759 but whether in London or an Epping Forest where she spent the first five years of her life is not quite certain there is no history of her ancestors to show from whom she inherited the intellectual greatness which distinguished her but which characterized neither of her parents her paternal grandfather was a manufacturer in Spitalfields of whom little is known except that he was of Irish extraction and that he himself was respectable and prosper to his son Edward John Mary's father he left a fortune of 10,000 pounds no inconsiderable sum in those days for a man of his social position her mother was elizabeth daughter of mr. Dixon of ballyshannon Ireland member of a good family Mary was the second of six children the eldest Edward who was more successful in his worldly affairs than the others and James who went to see to seek his fortune both passed to a great extent out of her life but her two sisters Eliza and every nuh and her youngest brother Charles were so dependent upon her for assistance in their many troubles that their career is intimately associated with hers with her very first years Mary Wollstonecraft began a bitter training in the school of experience which was to no small degree instrumental in developing her character and forming her philosophy there are a few details of her childhood and no anecdotes indicating a precocious genius but enough is known of her early life to make us understand what were the principal influences to which she was exposed her strength sprang from the very uncongenial a of her home and her successful struggles against the poverty and vice which surrounded her her father was a selfish hot-tempered despot whose natural bad qualities were aggravated by his dissipated habits his chief characteristic was his instability he could persevere in nothing apparently brought up to no special profession he was by turns a gentleman of leisure of farmer a man of business it seems to have been sufficient for him to settle in any one place to most immediately wish to depart from it the history of the first 15 or 20 years of his married life is that of one long series of migrations the discomforts and petty miseries unavoidable to travelers with large families in pre railroad days necessarily increased his irascible ax t the inevitable consequence of these many changes was loss of money and still greater loss of temper that his financial experiments proved to be failures is certain from the abject poverty of his later years that they were bad for him morally is shown in the fact that his children when grown up found it impossible to live under the same roof with him his indifference in one particular to their wishes and Welfare led in the end to disregard of them in all matters it is more than probable that Mary in her wrongs of woman grew largely from her own experience for the characters there in represented and we shall not earn in identifying the father she describes in this novel with mr. Wollstonecraft himself his orders she writes were not to be disputed and the whole house was expected to fly at the word of command he was to be instantaneously obeyed especially by my mother whom he very benevolently married for love but took care to remind her of the obligation when she dared in the slightest instance to question his absolute authority he wasn't a word an egotist of the worst description who found no brutality too low once his anger was aroused and no amount of despotism to odious when the rights and comforts of others interfered with his own desires when contradicted or thwarted his rage was uncover nabol and he used personal violence not only to his dogs and children but even to his wife drink and unrestrained self had utterly degraded him such was Mary's father mrs. Wollstonecraft was her husband's most abject slave but was in turn somewhat of a tyrant herself she approved of stern discipline for the young she was too indolent to give much attention to the education of her children and devoted what little energy she possessed to enforcing their unquestioning obedience even in trifles and to making them as afraid of her displeasure as they were of their father's anger it is perhaps difficult to give you any idea of the petty cares which obscured the morning of my life Mary declares through her heroine continual restraint in the most trivial matters unconditional submission to orders which is a mere child I soon discovered to be unreasonable because inconsistent and contradictory thus are we destined to experience a mixture of bitterness with the recollection of our most innocent enjoyment Edward as the mother's favorite escaped her severity but it fell upon Mary with double force and was with her carried out with a thoroughness that laid its shortcomings bare and consequently forced mrs. Wollstonecraft to modify her treatment of her younger children this concession on her part shows that she must have had their well-being at heart even when her policy in their regard was most misguided and that her unkindness was not like her husband's cruelty born of Caprice but it was sad for Mary that her mother did not discover her mistake sooner when Mary was five years old and before she had had time to form any strong impressions of her earliest home her father moved to another part of Epping Forest near the Chelmsford road then at the end of the year he carried the family to barking in Essex where he established them in a comfortable home a little way out of town many of the London markets were then supplied from the farms around barking so that the chance for his success here was promising this place was the scene of Mary's principal childish recollections and associations natural surroundings were with her of much more importance than they usually are to the very young because she depended upon them for her pleasures she cared nothing for dolls and the ordinary amusements of girls having received few caresses and little tender nursing she did not know how to play the part of mother her recreation led her out of doors with her brothers that she lived much in the open air and became thoroughly acquainted with the town in the neighborhood seems certain from the eagerness with which she visited it years afterwards with Godwin only too often the victim of her father's cruel fury and at all times a sufferer because of her mother's theories she had little chance for happiness during her childhood she was like Carlisle's hero of Sartor Resartus one of those children whose sad fate it is to weep in the playtime of the others not even to the David Copperfield's and Paul dombey's of fiction has their fallen a lot so hard to bear and so sad to record as that of the little Mary Wollstonecraft she was then the most deserving object of that pity which later is a woman she was always ready to bestow upon others her affections were unusually warm and deep but they could find no outlet she met on the one hand indifference and sturdiness on the other injustice and ill-usage to whatever town they went the Wollstonecraft seemed to have given signs of gentility and good social standing which one for them if not many at least respectable friends at barking in intimacy sprang up between them and the family of mr. bambor Gascoigne a member of parliament but Mary was too young to profit by this friendship it was most ruthlessly interrupted three years later when in 1768 the Restless head of the house whose industry and barking had not equalled the enterprise which brought him there took his departure for Beverly in Yorkshire this was the most complete change that he had as yet made here too for his wanderings had been confined to Essex but he either found in his new home more promising occupation and congenial companionship than he had hitherto or else there was a short respite to his feverish restlessness for he continued in it for six years it was here Mary received almost all the education that was ever given her by regular schooling Beverly was nothing but a small market town though she in her youthful enthusiasm thought at large and handsome and its inhabitants brilliant and elegant and was much disappointed when she passed through it many years afterwards on her way to Norway to see how far the reality fell short of her youthful idealization 'he's its schools could not have been of a very high order and we do not need Godwin's assurance to know that Mary old little of her subsequent culture to them but her education may be said to have really begun in 1775 when her father tired of farming and tempted by commercial hopes left Beverly for London and settled in Hoxton Mary was at this time in her 16th year The effect of her home life under which most children would have succumbed had been to develop her character at an earlier age than as usual with women in spite of the tyranny and Caprice of her parents and indeed perhaps because of them she had soon asserted her individuality and superiority when she had recognized the mistaken motives of her mother and the weakness of her father she had been forced to rely upon her own and self-command it is a wonderful proof of her fine instincts that though she must have known her strength she did not rebel and that her keen insight into the injustice of some actions did not prevent her realizing the justice of others her mind seems to have been from the beginning to evenly balanced for any such misconceptions when reprimanded she deservedly found in the reprimand as she once told god when the one means by which she became reconciled to herself for the fault which had called it forth as she matured her immediate relations could not but yield to the influence which she exercised over all with whom she was brought into close contact if there be such a thing as animal magnetism she possessed it in perfection her personal attractions commanded love and her great powers of sympathy drew people without their knowing why to lean upon her for moral support in the end she became an authority in her family mrs. Wollstonecraft was in time compelled to bestow upon her the affection which he had first withheld it was the ugly duckling after all who proved to be the swan of the flock mr. Wollstonecraft learned to hold his eldest daughter in awe and his anger sometimes diminished in her presence pity was always marries ruling passion feeling deeply the family sorrows she was quick to forget herself in her efforts to lighten them when this privilege was allowed to her there were opportunities enough for self-sacrifice with every year mr. Wollstonecraft squandered more money and grew idler and more dissipated home became unbearable the wife's burden heavier Mary emancipated from the restraints of childhood no longer remained a silence spectator of her father's fits of passion when her mother was the victim of his violence she interposed boldly between them determined that if his blows fell upon anyone it should be upon herself there were occasions when she so feared the results of his drunken rage that she would not even go to bed at night but throwing herself upon the floor outside her room would wait there on the alert to meet whatever Horrors darkness might bring forth Mary's existence up to 1775 had been saved when disturbed by family storms quiet lonely and uneventful as yet no special incident had occurred in it nor had she been awakened to intellectual activity but in Hoxton she contracted a friendship which though it was with a girl of her own age was always esteemed by her as the chief and leading event in her existence this it was which first aroused her love of study and of independence and opened a channel for the outpouring of her to long suppressed affections her love for fanny blood was the spark which kindled the latent fire of her genius her arrival in Hoxton therefore marks the first important era in her life she owed this new pleasure to mr Clare a clergyman and his wife who lived next to the Wollstonecraft's in Hoxton the acquaintanceship formed with their neighbors ripened and Mary's case into intimacy mr Clare was deformed and delicate and because of his great physical weakness led the existence of a hermit he rarely if ever went out in his habits were so essentially sedentary that a pair of shoes lasted him for 14 years it is hardly necessary to add that he was eccentric but he was a man of a certain amount of culture and had read largely his opportunity for so doing being great he was attracted by Mary whom he soon discovered to be no ordinary Girl and he interested himself in forming and training her mind she in return liked him his deformity alone would have appealed to her but she found him a congenial companion and as she proved herself a willing pupil he was glad to have her much with him she was a friend of mrs. Clare as well indeed the latter remained true to her through later storms which wrecked many other lessons here friendships marry sometimes spent days and even weeks in the house of these good people and it was on one of these occasions probably that mrs. Clare took her to newington butts then a village at the extreme southern end of london and they're introduced her to frances blood the first meeting between them Godwin says Bora resemblance to the first interview of vatta with charlotta the Bloods lived in a small but scrupulously well-kept house and when its door was first opened for Mary Fanny a bright looking girl about her own age was busy like another charlotta in superintending the meal of her younger brothers and sisters it was the scene well calculated to excite Mary's interest she better than anyone else could understand its full worth it revealed to her at a glance the skeleton in the family closet the inefficiency of the parents to care for the children whom they had brought into the world and the poverty which prevented their hiring others to do their work for them and at the same time it showed her the Nobel unselfishness of the daughter who not only took upon herself the burden so easily shifted by the parents but who accepted her fate cheerfully Mary then and there vowed in her heart eternal friendship for her new acquaintance and the vow was never broken Vasek in his kuzin vet says that there is no stronger passion than the love of one woman for another Mary Wollstonecraft's affection for Francis blood is a striking illustration of the truth of his statement it was strong as that of saffle for an arena tender and constant is that of a mother for her child from the moment they met until they were separated by poor Fanny's untimely death Mary never wavered in her devotion and it's active expression nor could the vicissitudes and joys of her later life destroy her loving loyalty to the memory of her first and dearest friend when a warm heart has strong impressions she wrote in a letter long years afterwards they are not to be effaced emotions become sentiments and the imagination renders transient sensations permanent by finally retracing them I cannot without a thrill of delight recollect views I have seen which are not to be forgotten nor looks I have felt in every nerve which I shall never more meet the grave has closed over a dear friend the friend of my youth still she is present with me and I hear her soft voice warbling as I stray over the heat there was much to draw the two friends together they had many miseries and many tastes and interests in common Fanny's parents were poor and her father like mr. Wollstonecraft was idle and dissipated there were young children to be reared and an incompetent mother to do it Fanny was only two years older than Mary but was at that time far more advanced mentally her education had been more complete she was in a small way both musician and artist was fond of reading and had even tried her powers at writing but her drawing had proved her most profitable accomplishment and buy it she supported her entire family Mary is yet had perfected herself and nothing and was helpless where money-making was concerned her true intellectual education had but just begun under mr. Clair's direction she had previously read voluminously but having done so for mere immediate gratification had derived but little profit there from as she lived in Hoxton and Fanny in doing tins they could not see each other very often and so in the intervals between their visits they correspond 'add Mary found that her letters were far inferior to those of her friend she could not spell so well and had none of Fanny's ease in shaping her thoughts into words her pride was hurt and her ambition stirred she determined to make herself at least Fanny's intellectual equal it was humiliating to know herself powerless to improve her own condition when her friend was already earning an income large enough not only to meet her own wants but those of others depending upon her to prepare herself for a like struggle with the world a struggle which in all likelihood she would be obliged to make single-handed she studied earnestly books acquired new value in her eyes she read no longer for passing amusement but to strengthen and cultivate her mind for future work it cannot be doubted that under any circumstances she would in the course of a few years have become conscious of her power and the necessity to exercise it but to Fanny blood belongs the honor of having given the first incentive to her intellectual energy this brave heavily burdened young English girl excepting toils and tribulations with stout heart would with many another silent heroine or hero have been forgotten had it not been for the stimulus her love and example were to an even stronger sister sufferer the larger field of interests thus opened for Mary was like the bright dawn after a long and dark night for the first time she was happy there was therefore much in her life at hoxton to relieve the gloomy influence of the family troubles work for a definite end is in itself a great joy many pleasant hours were spent with the Claire's and occasional gala days with Fanny these last two pleasures however were short-lived the inexorable family tyrant her father grew tired of Commerce is indeed eded of everything and in the spring of 1776 he abandoned it for agriculture and moved to Pembroke where he owns some little property with a heavy heart Mary bade farewell to her new friends of external incidents the year in Wales was barren the only one on record is the intimacy which sprang up between the Wollstonecraft and the Allens two daughters of this family afterwards married sons of the famous Potter Wedgwood and the friendship then begun lasted for life to Mary herself however this year was full and fertile it was devoted to study and work hers was the only true genius the genius for industry she never relaxed in the task she had set for herself and her progress was rapid the signs she soon manifested up her mental power added to the respect with which her family now treated her realizing that the assistance she could give by remaining at home was but little compared to that which might result from her leaving it for some definite employment she seems at this period to have announced her intention of seeking her fortunes abroad but mrs. Wollstonecraft looked upon the presence of her daughter as a strong bulwark of defense against the brutal attacks of her husband and was loath to lose it Mary yielded to her entreaties to wait a little longer but her sympathy and tender pity for human suffering fortunately never destroyed her common sense she knew the day must come when on her own individual exertions would depend not only her own but a large share of her sisters and brothers maintenance in and consenting to remain at home she exact at certain conditions she insisted upon being allowed freedom in the regulation of her actions she demanded that she should have a room for her exclusive property and that when engaged in study she should not be interrupted she would attend to certain domestic duties and after they were over her time must be her own it was little to ask all she wanted was the Liberty to make herself independent of the paternal care which girls have 18 as a rule claim as their right it was granted her at the end of another year the demon of restlessness again attacked Mr Wollstonecraft Wales proved less attractive than it had appeared at a distance orders were given to repack the family goods and chattels and to set out upon new wanderings on this occasion Mary interfered with a strong hand since the change was to be made it might as well be turned to her advantage she had without a word allowed herself to be carried to Wales away from the one person she really loved and she now knew the sacrifice had been useless it was clear to her that one place was no better for her father than another therefore he should go where it pleased her it was better that one member of the family should be content then that all should be equally miserable she prevailed upon him to choose Woolworth as his next resting place here she would be near fanny and life would again hold some brightness for her it wasn't Woolworth that she took the first step in what was fated to be a long life of Independence and work the conditions which he had made with her family seemed to open here neglected and study at home became more and more impossible she was further stimulated to action by the personal influence of her energetic friend by the fact that the younger children were growing up to receive their share of the family sorrow and disgrace and by her own great dread of poverty how writers professing to be friends to freedom and the improvement of morals can assert that poverty is no evil I cannot imagine she exclaims and the wrongs of woman she cared nothing for the luxuries and the ease and idleness which wealth gives but she prized above everything the time an opportunity for self culture of which the poor in their struggle for existence are deprived the Wollstonecraft fortunes were at a low ebb her share in them should she remain at home would be drudgery and slavery which would grow greater with every year her one hope for the future depended upon her profitable use of the present the sooner she earned money for herself the sooner would she be able to free her brothers and sisters from the yoke whose weight she knew full well because of her own eagerness to throw it off unselfish as her father was selfish she thought quite as much of their welfare as of her own therefore when at the age of 19 a situation as a lady's companion was offered to her neither tears nor entreaties could alter her resolution to accept it she entered at once upon her new duties and with them her career as woman may be said to have begun end of chapter 1 chapter 2 of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin by Elizabeth Robins Pennell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Pamela nogami first years of work 1778 to 1785 Mary Wollstonecraft did not become famous at once she began her career as humbly as many a less gifted woman like the heroes of old she had tasks allotted to her before she could attain the goal of her ambition it is difficult for a young man without money influential friends or professional education to make his way in the world with a woman placed in similar circumstances the difficulty is increased a hundredfold we have today when government and other clerkships are open to women cannot quite realize their helplessness a few generations back in Mary Wollstonecraft stime those whose birth and training had unfitted them for the more menial occupations who could neither bake nor scrub had but two resources they must either become governesses or ladies companions in neither case was their position enviable they ranked as little better than upper servants Mary's first appearance on the world stage therefore was not brilliant the lady with whom she went to live was a mrs. Dawson a widow who had but one child a grown-up son her residence was in bath Mary must then have given at least signs of the beauty which did not reach its full development until many years later her sorrows had not entirely destroyed her natural gaiety and she was only 19 years old the mission in bath in those days of young girls of her age was to dance and to flirt to lose their hearts and to find husbands to gossip to listen to the music to show themselves in the squares and circus and on the parades or sometimes when they were seriously inclined to drink the waters Mary's was to cater to the caprices of a cross-grained peevish woman there was little sunshine in the morning of her life she was destined always to see the darkest side of human nature mrs. Dawson stem was bad and her companions of whom there seemed to have been many had hitherto fled before it's outbreaks as the leaves wither and fall at the first breath of winter Mary's home schooling was now turned to good account mrs. Dawson's rage could not at its worst equal her father's drunken violence and long experience of the latter prepared her to bear the former with a parent if not real stoicism we have no particulars of her life as companion nor knowledge of the exact nature of her duties but of one thing we are certain the fulfillment of them caused her many a heartache in bath she was separated from her friends she was alone in her struggle and she held a position which did not always command respect however her indomitable will and unflagging energy availed her to such good purpose that she continued with mrs. Dawson for two years doubtless to the surprise of the latter accustomed as she was too easily frightened and hastily retreating companions her departure then was due not to moral cowardice or exhaustion but to a summons from home mrs. Wollstonecraft's health had begun to fail her life had been a hard one and the drains upon her Constitution many she was the mother of a large family and had had her full share of the by no means insignificant pains and cares of maternity in addition to these she had had to contend against poverty that evil which says the Talmud is worse than 50 plagues and against the vagaries of a good-for-nothing drunken husband once she fell beneath her burden she could not rise with it again she had no strength left to withstand her illness Eliza and ever I know were both at home to take care of her but she could not rest without the eldest daughter upon whom experience had taught her to rely implicitly she sent for Mary and the latter hastened at once to her mother's side her own hopes and ambitions her chances and prospects all were forgotten in her desire to do what she could for the poor patient she waited upon her mother with untiring care mrs. Wollstonecraft's illness was long and lingering though it declared itself at an early stage to be hopeless in her pleasure at her daughter's return she received her services with grateful thanks but as she grew worse she became more accustomed to the presence of a nurse and exacted as a right that which she had first accepted as a favor she would allow no one else to attend to her and day and night Mary was with her finally the end came mrs. Wollstonecraft died happy to be released from her world which had given her nothing but unkindness and sorrow her parting words were a little patience and all will be over it was not difficult for the dying woman so soon to have eternity to reston to bear quietly times last agony but for the weary heart sick young girl before whom they're stretched a Vista of long years of toil the lesson of patience was less easy to learn Mary never forgot these words nor did she heed their bitter sarcasm often and often in her after trials they returned to her carrying with them peace and comfort her mother's death took place in 1780 the family were then living in Enfield which place had succeeded Woolworth in their periodical migrations after her mother's death Mary tired out with constant nursing want of sleep and anxiety of mine became ill she sorely needed quiet and an interval from work but the necessity to depart from her father's house was imperative he had fallen so low that his daughters were forced leave him the difficulty was to find immediate means to meet the emergency I'll return to mrs. Dawson does not seem to have suggested itself as a possibility Mary's great ambition was to become a teacher and to establish a school but this could not be easily or at once accomplished she must have time to prepare herself for the venture to make friends and to give proof of her ability to teach fortunately at this juncture fanny blood proved a true friend and offered her at least a temporary home at wollam green Fanny was still gaining a small income from her drawings to which mrs. blood added whatever she could make by her needle Mary was not one to live upon another's bread too proud to become an additional charge to these two hard-working women she helped the latter with her sewing and so contributed her share to the family means though she was happy because she was with her friend her life year was well nigh as tragic as it had been in her father's house the family sorrows were great and many mr. blood was an air duel and a drunkard Carolyn one of the daughters had then probably begun her rapid descent downhill moved there to poor girl by the relief which vice alone gave to the poverty and gloom of her home George the brother with whom Mary afterwards correspondent for so many years was unhappy because of his unrequited love forever I know Wollstonecraft he was an honest good principled young man but his associates were disreputable and he was at times compromised by their actions but still sadder for Mary was the fact that fanny in addition to domestic grievances was tortured by the unkindness of an uncertain lover she had met not long before mr. Hughes gays are young but already successful merchant attract by her he had been sufficiently attentive and devoted to warrant her conclusion that his intentions were serious he seems to have loved her as deeply as he was capable of loving but discouraged perhaps by the wretched circumstances of the family he could not make up his mind to marry her at one moment he was ready to desert her and at the next to claim her as his wife instead of resenting his unpardonable conduct as a prouder woman would have done she bore it with the humble patience of a Griselda when he was kind she hoped for the best when he was cold she dreaded the worst the consequence of these alternate states of hope and despair was mental depression and finally physical ill health through her troubles Mary who had given her the warmest and best because the first love of her life was her faithful Ally and comforter indeed their friendship grew warmer with Fanny's increasing misfortunes as she said of herself a few years later she was not a fair weather friend I think she wrote once in a letter to george blood i love most people best when they are in adversity for pity is one of my prevailing passions she realized that she had made herself her friends equal if not superior intellectually and that so far as moral courage and willpower were concerned she was as much the stronger of the two there is nothing which so deepens a man's or a woman's tenderness as the knowledge that the object of it looks up to her or to him for support and Mary's affection increased because of its new inspiration it has been said that it was necessary for all mr. Woolston crafts daughters to leave his house Mary was not yet in a position to help her sisters and they had but few friends their chances of self-support were small there position was the trying one of gentle women who could not make servants of themselves and who indeed would not be employed as such and who had not had the training to fit them for hire occupations ever ryna therefore was glad to find an asylum with her brother Edward who was an attorney in London she became his housekeeper for like Mary she was too independent to allow herself to be supported by the charity of others Eliza the youngest sister who with greater love of culture than ever ina had had even less education solved her present problem by marrying but she escaped one difficulty only to fall into another still greater and more serious the history of her married experience is important because of the part Mary played in it the latter's independent conduct in her sister's regard is a foreshadowing of the course she pursued at a later period in the management of her own affairs Eliza was the most excitable and nervous of the three sisters the family sensitiveness was developed in her to a painful degree she was not only quick to take offense but was ever on the lookout for slights and insults even from people she dearly loved she assumed a defensive attitude against the world and mankind and therefore life went harder with her than with more cheerfully constituted women her indignation and rage were not so easily appeased as aroused altogether she was a very impossible person to live with peacefully mr. Bishop the man she married was as quick tempered and passionate as she and morally was infinitely beneath her he was the original of the husband in the wrongs of woman who is represented as an unprincipled sensualist brute and hypocrite the worst of it was that when not carried away by his temper his address was good and his manners insinuating as one his friend said of him he was either a lion or a spaniel unfortunately at home he was always the lion a fact which those who knew him only as the spaniel could not well believe the marriage of two such people needless to say was not happy they mutually agree to each other eliza with her sensitive unforgiving nature could not make allowances mr. Bishop would not much as her waywardness and hastiness were at fault he was still more to blame in affecting the rupture between them the strain upon Eliza's nervous system caused by almost daily quarrels and scenes of violence was more than she could bear then to add to her misery she found herself in that condition in which women are apt to be peculiarly susceptible and irritable her prospect of maternity so stimulated her abnormal emotional excitement that her reason gave way and for months she was insane though she had passive intervals she was at times very violent and disastrous results were feared it was necessary for someone to keep constant guard over her and Mary was asked to undertake this task relentless as fate in pursuing the hero of Greek tragedy to his predestined n were the circumstances which formed Mary's prejudice against the institution of marriage this was the third domestic tragedy caused by the husband's petty tyranny and the wife's slender resources of Defense of which she was the immediate witness her experience was unfortunate the bright side of the married state was hidden from her she saw only its shadows and these darkened until her soul rebelled against the injustice not of life but of man's shaping of it as was the fate of the Bloods and much as they needed her the bishop household was still sadder and its appeals more urgent and Mary hurried thither at once without a murmur she left wollam green and established herself as nurse and keeper to the poor mad sister there could be no greater heroism than this with a nervous Constitution not unlike that of poor best she had to watch over the frenzied mania of the wife and to confront the almost equally insane fury of the husband to her desire to keep every no posted as to the progress of affairs we are indebted for her letters which give a very lifelike picture of herself and her surroundings while she remained in her brother-in-law's house they are interesting because by showing the difficulties against which she had to contend and the effect he's had upon her we can better appreciate the greatness of her nature by which she triumphed over them there is one written during this sad period which must be quoted here because it throws still more light upon bishops true character and his ingenuity in tormenting those who lived with him Monday morning January 1784 I have nothing to tell you my dear girl that will give you pleasure yesterday was a dismal day long and dreary Bishop was very ill etcetera etcetera he is much better today but misery haunts this house in one shape or other how sincerely do I join with you and saying that if a person has common sense they cannot make one completely unhappy but to attempt to lead or govern a weak mind is impossible it will ever press forward to what it wishes regardless of impediments and with a selfish eagerness believes what it desires practicable although the contrary is as clear as the noonday my spirits are hurried with listening to pros and cons and my head is so good fused then I sometimes say no one I ought to say yes my heart is almost broken with listening to be while he reasons the case I cannot insult him with advice which he would never have wanted if he were capable of attending to it may by habitation never be fixed among the tribe that can't look beyond the present gratification that draw fixed conclusions from general rules that attend to the literal meaning only and because the thing ought to be expect that it will come to pass be has made a confident of skis and as I can never speak to him in private I suppose his pity may cloud his judgment if it does I should not either wonder at it or blame him for I that knowing I'm fixed in my opinion cannot unwavering ly adhere to it and when I reason I am afraid of being unfeeling miracles don't occur now and only a miracle can alter the minds of some people they grow old and we can only discover by their countenance that they are so to the end of their chapter will their misery last I expect Fanny next Thursday and she will stay with us but a few days best desires her love she grows better and of course more sad though Mary's heart was breaking and her brain reeling her closer acquaintance with Bishop convinced her that Eliza must not continue with him she determined at All Hazards to free her sister from a man who was slowly but surely killing her and she knew she was right in her determination for some months Eliza's physical and mental illness made it impossible to take a decided step or to form definite plans but when her child was born and she returned to a normal though at the same time sadder because conscious state Mary felt that the time for action had arrived that she still thought it advisable for her sister to leave her husband though this necessitated the abandonment of her child conclusively proves the seriousness of Bishops false it was no easy matter to effect the separation Bishop objected to it it is never unpleasant for a man to play the tyrant and he was averse to losing his victim pecuniary assistance was therefore not to be had from him and the sisters were panelists Mary applied to Edward though she was not sure it was desirable for Eliza to take refuge with him however he does not seem to have responded warmly for Mary suggestion was never acted upon there's was a situation in which friends were not apt to interfere and besides bishops plausibility had won over not a few to his side furthermore the chance was that if he worked successfully upon mr. scathe sympathies the Bloods would be influenced there was absolutely no one to help them but Mary knew that it was useless to wait and that the moral would not make easier what seemed to her the task of the present day what she now most wanted for her sister was a Liberty and she resolved to secure this at once and then afterwards to look about her to see how it was to be maintained accordingly one day Bishop well out of the way the sisters left his house forever there was a mad breathless drive best with her insanity have returned biting her wedding ring to pieces a hurried exchange of coaches to further ensure escape from detection a joyful arrival at modest lodgings in Hackney a giving in of false names a hasty locking of doors and then the reaction Eliza whose excitement had exhausted itself on the way became quiet and even ready for sleep Mary now that immediate necessity for calmness and courage was over grew nervous and restless with strained ears she listened to every sound her heartbeat time to the passing carriages and she trembled at the lightest knock that night in a wild nervous letter to ever Ryan as she wrote I hope he will not discover us for I would sooner face a lion yet the door never opens but I expect to see him panting for breath asked Ned how we are to behave if he should find us Forbes's determined not to return can he force her but I'll not suppose it yet I can think of nothing else she is sleepy and going to bed my agitated mind will not permit me don't tell Charles or any creature oh let me entreat you to be careful for best does not dread him now as much as I do again let me request you to write as bees behavior may silence my fears the Rubicon was crossed but the hardships thereby incurred were but just beginning the two sisters were obliged to keep in hiding as if they had been criminals for they dared not risk a chance meeting with bishop they had barely money enough to pay their immediate expenses and their means of making more were limited by the precautions they had to take it had only been possible in their flight to carry off a few things and they were without sufficient clothing then there came from their friends and outcry against their conduct the general belief then was as indeed it unfortunately continues to be that women should accept without murmur whatever it suits their husbands to give them whether it be kindness or blows better a thousand times that one human soul should be stifled and killed then that the Philistines of society should be scandalized by its struggles for air and life Eliza's happiness might have been totally sacrificed had she remained with Bishop but at least the feelings of her acquaintances in whom respectability had destroyed the more humane qualities would have been saved her scheme Mary wrote bit early to ever Ryna was contrary to all the rules of conduct that are established for the benefit of new married ladies and he felt forced to forfeit the friendship of these two social rebels though it greed them to the heart to do so mrs. Claire be it said to her honor remain staunch but even she only approved cautiously and Mary had her misgivings that she would advise a reconciliation if she once saw Bishop to add to the hopelessness of their case the deserted husband restrained his rage so well and made so much of Eliza's heartlessness in abandoning her child that he drew to himself the sympathy which should have been given to her Mary feared the effect his pleadings and representations would have upon Edward the extent of whose egotism she had not yet measured and she commissioned a variety to keep him firm as for Eliza she was so shaken and weak and so unhappy about the poor motherless infant that she could neither think nor act the duty of providing for their wants immediate and still to come fell entirely upon Mary she felt this to be just since it was chiefly through her influence that they had been brought to their present plight but the responsibility was great and it is no wonder that brave is she was she longed for someone to share it with her her one source of consolation and strength at this time was her religion this will seem strange to many who knowing but few facts of her life conclude from her connection with Godwin and her social radicalism that she was an atheist but the sincerest spirit of piety breathes through her letters written during her early troubles these passages evangelical and tone occur in private letters meant to be read only by those to whom they were addressed so that they must be counted as honest expressions of her convictions and not mere can't just as she wrote freely to her sisters and her intimate friends about her temporal matters so without hesitation she talked to them of her ritual affairs her belief became broader as she grew older she never was an atheist like Godwin or an unbeliever of the Voltaire school but as the years went on and her knowledge of the world increased her religion concerned itself more with conduct and less with Creed until she finally gave up going to church altogether but at the time of which we are writing she was regular in her attendance and though not strictly Orthodox clung to certain forms there seemed to have been several schemes for work of witches then one was that the two sisters and Fanny blood who sometime before had expressed herself willing and anxious to leave home should join their fortunes Fanny could paint and draw Mary Ann Eliza could take in needlework until more pleasant and profitable employment could be procured poverty and toil would be more than compensated for by the joy which freedom and congenial companionship would give them there was nothing very utopian in such a plan but Fanny when the time came for its accomplishment grew frightened her heart apprenticeship had given her none of the self-confidence and reliance which belonged to Mary by right of birth her family despite their dependence upon her seemed like a protection against the outer world and so she held back pleading the small chances of success by such a partnership her own poor health which would make her a burden to them and in fact so many good reasons that the plan was abandoned she then with greater aptitude for suggestion than for action proposed that Mary Ann Eliza should keep a haberdashery shop to be stocked at the expense of the much called upon but sadly unsusceptible Edward fortunately Fanny's project was never carried out probably Edward as usual failed to meet the proposals made to him and Mary realized that the chains by which she would thus binders would be unendurable the plan finally adopted was that dearest to Mary's heart she began her career as teacher she analyzed awan to Islington where Fanny was then living and lodged in the same house with her then they announced their intention of receiving day pupils Mary was eminently fitted to teach her sad experience had increased her natural sympathy and benevolence she now made her own troubles subservient to those of her fellow sufferers and resolved that the welfare of others should be the principal object of her life before the word had passed into moral philosophy she had become an altruist in its truest sense the task of teacher particularly attracted her because it enabled her to prepare the young for the struggle with the world for which she had been so ill qualified because so little attention had been given to her in her early youth she keenly appreciated the advantage of a good practical education but her merits are not recognised in Islington like the man in the parable she set out a banquet of which the bidden guests refused to partake no scholars were sent to her therefore at the end of a few months she was glad to move to Newington Green where better prospects seemed to await her there she had relatives and influential friends and the encouragement she received from them induced her to begin work on a large scale she rented a house and opened a regular school her efforts met with success twenty children became her pupils while a mrs. Campbell our relative and her son and another lady with three children came to board with her Mary was now more comfortable than she had heretofore been she was comparatively speaking prosperous she had more work to do but by it she was supporting herself and at the same time advancing toward her purposed goal of self renunciation then she had caused for pleasure and the fact that Eliza was now really free Bishop having finally agreed to the separation Mary Wollstonecraft at the head of a house and mistress of a school was a very different person from Mary Wollstonecraft simple companion to mrs. Dawson or dependent friend of Fannie blood her position was one to attract attention and it was sufficient for her to be known to be loved and admired her social sphere was enlarged no one could care more for society than she did when that society was congenial at newington green she already began to show the preference for men and women of intellectual tastes and abilities that she manifested so strongly in her life in London foremost among her intimate acquaintances at this time was dr. Richard Price a clergyman a dissenter then well known because of his political and mathematical speculations he was an honest upright simple-hearted man who commanded the respect and love of all who knew him and whose benevolence was great enough to realize even Mary's ideals she became deeply attached to him personally and was a warm admirer of his religious and moral principles his sermons gave her great delight and she often went to listen to them he in return seems to have felt great interest in her and to have recognized her extraordinary mental force mr. John Hewlett also a clergyman was another of her friends and she retained his friendship for many years afterwards a third friend mentioned by God when in his memoirs was mrs. Bergh widow of a man now almost forgotten but once famous as the author of political disquisitions in sorrows soon to come mrs. Berg gave practical proof of her affection if a man can be judged by the character of his associates than the aged professions and serious connections of Mary's Newington Green are not a little significant much as she cared for these older friends however they could not be so dear to her as Fannie and George blood she had begun by pitying the ladder for his hopeless passion for every 'no and had finished by loving him for himself with true sisterly devotion to brother and sister both she could open her heart as she could to no one else they were young with her and that in itself is a strong bond of Union they too were but just beginning life and they could sympathize with all her aspirations and disappointments it was therefore in a reparable loss to her when they at almost the same time but for different reasons left England Fanny's health had finally become so wretched that even her uncertain lover was moved to pity mistress gaze seems to have been one of the men whom only appreciate that which they think they cannot have not until the ill health of the woman he loved warned him of the possibility of his losing her altogether did he make definite proposals to her her love for him had not been shaken by his unkindness and in February 1785 she married him and went with him to Lisbon where he was established in business a few years earlier he might by making her his wife have secured her along life's happiness now as it turned out he succeeded but in making her path smooth for a few short months Mary's love for Fanny made her much more sensitive to mr. skies shortcomings as a lover than Fanny had been shortly after the marriage she wrote indignantly to George scathe has received congratula Tory letters from most of his friends and relations in Ireland and he now regrets that he did not marry sooner all his mighty fears had no foundation so that if he had had courage to brave the world's opinion he might have spared Fanny many griefs the scars of which will never be a nay more if she had gone a year or two ago her health might have been perfectly restored which I do not now think we'll ever be the case before true passion I am convinced everything but a sense of duty moves true love is warmest when the object is absent how Hugh could let Fanny languish in England while he was throwing money away at Lisbon is to me inexplicable if he had a passion that did not require the fuel of seeing the object I much fear he loves her not for the qualities that render her dear to my heart her tenderness and delicacy are not even dreamed up by a man who would be satisfied with the fondness of one of the general run of women George Bloods departure was due to less pleasant circumstances than Fanny's one youthful escapades which had come to light was sufficient to attach to his name the blame for another of which he was innocent some of his associates had become seriously compromised and he to avoid being implicated with them had literally taken flight and made Ireland his place of refuge Mary's friends left her just when she most needed them unfortunately the interval of peace inaugurated by the opening of the school was but short-lived encouraged by the first success of her enterprise she rented a larger house hoping that in it she would do even better but this step proved the prelude to an inexhaustible mine of difficulties the expense involved by the change was far greater than she had expected and her means of meeting it smaller more pupils were not forthcoming to avail themselves of the new accommodations provided for them moreover her borders neglected to pay their bills regularly instead of being a source of profit they were an additional burden her life now became unspeakably sad her whole day was spent in teaching this in itself would not have been hard she always interested her self in her pupils and the consciousness of good done for others was her most highly prized pleasure had the physical fatigue entailed by her work been her only hardship she would have borne it patiently and perhaps gaily but from morning till night waking and sleeping she was haunted by thoughts of unpaid bills and of increasing debts poverty and creditors were the two unavoidable evils which stared her in the face then when she did hear from Fanny it was to know that the chances of her recovery were diminishing rather than increasing reports of George Bloods LLL conduct repeated for her benefit hurt and irritated her on one occasion her house was visited by men sent thither in his pursuit by the girl who had viola slandered him mrs. Campbell with the meanest of a small nature reproached Mary for the encouragement which he had given his vices she loved him so truly that this must have been callin worm ward to her sensitive heart mr. and mrs. blood continued poor and miserable he drinking and idling and she faring as it must ever fair with wives of such men Mary saw nothing before her but a dreary pilgrimage through the wide valley of the shadow of death from which there seemed no escape to the Mount Zion beyond if she dragged herself out of the deep pit of mental despondency and was to fall into a still deeper one of physical prostration the bleeding's and blisters ordered by her physician could help her but little what she needed to make her well was new pupils and honest borders in these the most expert physician could not give her is it any wonder that she came in time to hate Newington Green the grave of all my comforts she called it to lose relish for life and to feel cheered only by the prospect of death she had nothing to reproach yourself with in sorrow and sick us a like she had toil to the best of her abilities that which her hand had found to do she had done with all her might the result of her Labor's and long sufferance had hitherto been but misfortune and failure though her difficulties accumulated with alarming rapidity there was no relaxation in her attentions to mr. and mrs. blood in her care for her sister nor in the sympathy she gave to George blood perhaps the greatest joy that came to her during this year was the news that mr. Shaye's had found a position for his brother-in-law and Lisbon but this pleasure was more than counterbalanced by the discouraging bulletins of Fanny's health mistress gaze was alarmed at his wife's increasing weakness and was anxious to gratify her every desire Fanny expressed a wish to have Mary with her during her confinement the latter with characteristic unselfishness consented when mistress gazed asked her to go to Lisbon though in so doing she was obliged to leave school and house this shows the sincerity of her opinion that before true passion everything but Duty moves to her Fanny's need seems greater than her own and she thought to fulfill her duty toward her sister and to provide for her welfare by giving her charge of her scholars and borders while she was away from them Mary's decision was vigorously questioned by her friends indeed there were many reasons against it it was feared her absence from the school for a necessarily long period would be injurious to it and this eventually proved to be the case the journey was a long one for a woman to make alone and last but not least she had not the ready money to pay her expenses but despite all her friends could say she could not be moved from her original resolution when they saw their arguments were useless they manifested their friendship in a more practical manner mrs. Berg lent her the necessary sum of money for the journey godwin however thinks that in doing this she was acting in behalf of dr. price who modestly preferred to conceal his share in the transaction all impediments having thus been removed Mary in the autumn of 1785 started upon the saddest up to this date of her many missions of charity the reunion of the friends was a joyless pleasure when Mary arrived in Lisbon she found Fanny in the last stages of her illness and before she had time to rest from her journey she began her work as sick nurse four hours after her arrival Fanny's child was born it had been sad enough for Mary to watch her mother's last moments analyzes insanity but this new duty was still more painful she loved Fanny blood with a passion whose depth is beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals her affection for her was the one romance of her youth and she lavished upon it all the sweetness and tenderness the enthusiasm and devotion of her nature which make her seem to us loveable above all women but now this friend the best gift life had so far given her was to be taken from her she saw Fanny grow weaker and weaker day by day and knew that she was powerless to avert the coming calamity yet whatever could be done she did there never has been and there never can be a more faithful gentle nurse the following letter gives a graphic description of her journey and of the sad welcome which awaited her at its termination and the still sattar duties she fulfilled in Lisbon Lisbon November or December 1785 my dear girls I am beginning to awake out of a terrifying dream for in that light do the transactions of these two or three last days appear before i say more let me tell you that when I arrived here Fanny was in labor and that for hours after she was delivered boy the child is alive and well in considering the very very low state to which Fanny was reduced she is better than could be expected I am now watching her and the child my active spirits have not been much at rest ever since I left England I could not write to you on shipboard the sea was so rough and we had such hard gales of wind the captain was afraid we should be dis masted I cannot write tonight or collect my scattered thoughts my mind is so unsettled Fanny is so worn out her recovery would be almost a resurrection and my reason will scarce allow me to think it possible I labor to be resigned and by the time I am a little so some faint hope sets my thoughts again afloat and for a moment I look forward two days that will alas never come I will try tomorrow to give you some little regular account of my journey though I am almost afraid to look beyond the present moment was not my arrival providential I can scarce be persuaded that I am here and that so many things have happened in so short a time my head grows light with thinking on it Friday morning fanny has been so alarmingly ill since I wrote the above I entirely gave her up and yet I could not write and tell you so it seemed like signing her death warrant yesterday afternoon some of the most alarming symptoms a little abated and she had a comfortable night yet I rejoice with trembling lips and I'm afraid to indulge hopes she is very low the stomach is so weak it will scare spare to receive the slightest nourishment in short if I were to tell you all her complaints you would not wonder at my fears the child though a puny one as well I have got a wet nurse for it the packet does not sail till the latter end of next week and I send this by a ship I shall write by every opportunity we arrived last Monday we were only 13 days at sea the wind was so high in the sea so boisterous the water came in at the cabin windows and the ship rolled about in such a manner it was dangerous to stir the women were seasick the whole time and the poor invalid so oppressed by his complaints I never expected he would live to see Lisbon I have supported him for hours together gasping for breath and at night if I had been inclined for sleep his dreadful cough would have kept me awake you may suppose that I have not rested much since I came here yet I am tolerably well and calmer than I could expect to be could I not look for comfort we're only tis to be found I should have been mad before this but I feel that I am supported by that being who alone can heal a wounded spirit may he bless you both yours Mary her state of uncertainty about poor Fanny did not last long shortly after the above letter was written mrs. gaze died just as life was beginning to smile upon her she was called from it she had worked so long that when happiness at length came she had no strength left to bear it God went in his memoirs says that Mary's trip to portugal probably enlarged her understanding she was admitted he writes to the very best company the English colony afforded she made many profound observations on the character of the natives and the baleful effects of superstition but it seems doubtful whether she really saw many people in Lisbon or gave great he to what was going on around her arrived there just in time to see her friend died she remained but a short time after all was over there was no inducement for her to make a longer stay her feelings for mr. skies were not friendly she could not forget that had he but treated Fanny as she for example would have done had she been in his play this early death might have been prevented her school entrusted to mrs. bishops care was a strong reason for her speed returned to England the cause which had called her from it being gone she was anxious to return to her post an incident highly characteristic of her is told of the journey home she had nursed a poor sick man on the way to Portugal on the way back she was instrumental in saving the lives of many men the ship in which she sailed met at mid sea a French vessel so dismantled and storm beaten that it was an imminent risk of sinking and its stock of provisions was almost exhausted its officers hailed the English ship begging its captain to take them in its entire crew on board the latter hesitated this was no trifling request he had his own crew and passengers to consider and he feared to lay such a heavy tax on the provisions provided for a certain number only this was a case which aroused Mary's tender is sympathy it was impossible for her to witness it unmoved she could not without a protest allow her fellow creatures to be so cruelly deserted like another Portia come to judgment she clinched the difficulty by representing to the captain that if he did not yield to their entreaties she would expose his in humanity upon her return to England her arguments prevailed the sufferers were saved and the intercessor in their behalf added one more to the long list of her good deeds end of chapter 2

Michael Martin

2 Responses

  1. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin | Elizabeth Robins Pennell | Biography & Autobiography | English | 1/5
    Parts of this video:
    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyrPUyAx2yQ (this video)
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDwoKg6kyI
    Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VchUvavbxno
    Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXGvRMbA-gQ
    Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oozvUvUCGfE

  2. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin | Elizabeth Robins Pennell | Biography & Autobiography | English | 1/5
    0: [00:00:00] – Introduction
    1: [00:07:51] – Childhood and Early Youth. 1759-1778
    2: [00:37:24] – First Years of Work. 1778-1785

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