The blog

This blog exists as a meeting place both for Mary enthusiasts, as well as for Wollstonecraft scholars. It is, in effect, testing the waters for a Mary Fan Club or Wollstonecraft Society. Isn't it surprising that neither yet exists? If it succeeds in bringing together Mary fans, I am delighted. If it succeeds in bringing together paid Wollstonecraft experts who did not previously know of each other's existence, I am vindicated!

This blog has international readers and contributors whose professional lives are entwined with telling Mary Wollstonecraft's story and interpreting her words for our day. But it's not just for them: A Vindication of the Rights of Mary is for the casually curious as well, and especially for those who, like our heroine, seek to educate themselves, despite inauspicious conditions.

This blog serves several purposes. 
  • to teach myself blogging, in terms both of content and of form. (You, dear reader, are my guinea pig or tutor, however you choose to look at it: your feedback is valued.)  
  • to support projects, most notably Mary on the Green, the campaign I'm involved with to get her a statue, but also other ventures as I come across them.
  • to reach out across the web, to invite people to join in. From individual blogs, from blog carnivals, from projects such as The Year of Feminist Classics, from Twitter, from Facebook, from YouTube, from official websites of organisations GLAM or otherwise, from academe, from publishing, from education, from politics ...
  • to establish and develop a central repository of material for easy re-use: a list of quotes by and about her, a calendar of dates, a gallery of images, a map, a secondary bibliography, etc. 

I have lots of ideas. No guarantees, but this is the flavour:
  • Wednesday Walks: Somers TownSt Pancras, St Paul'sSouthwark, Spitalfields; Paris; and later possibilities are Bloomsbury, Barking, Beverley, even unalliterative Hoxton. A finite series.
  • Mary & Me: essays describing how she came into our personal and professional lives. So far we've had a French philosopher and a Japanese historian, and me; an American novelist and poet who has promised her story. After that, we'll see.
  • Creative work: visual and literary, humourous and serious. Sketches of Newington Green; a photomontage; a tattoo; poetry old and new; zombies....Oh, and public sculptures that might feed in to Mary on the Green.
  • Research notes: this will come, as discoveries do, in unexpected dollops. My research is freelance, but there may be proper kosher accredited types who choose to share a tidbit with us from time to time. We can live in hope. 
  • Mary's legacy: this is a subset of my research, namely those people who read her work and found it a turning point, but who are not listed as her intellectual heirs. I have quite a few names already. I call them the lost sons and daughters.
  • catalogue: a list and review of what is available, a secondary or tertiary bibliography.. This blog offers a great opportunity to draw the good sites together, whether they be a personal essay or something more elaborate. There are undiscovered gems on Google Books, for instance. Detailing online treasure troves could be an infinite task, but it ties in well to the outreach. Book reviews could come in here too.
  • Essays: Mary the lesbian lover, Mary the virtuous wife, Mary the pedagogue, Mary the dutiful daughter, Mary the Romantic, Mary the rationalist, Mary and God, Mary and the Dissenters, Mary the war correspondent, Mary the treasure hunter, Mary the snob, Mary and the servants.... 
  • Publicity for projects: mine and others', as small as my Twitter biography in #38 days (today, a quarter of the way towards its destination), as big as the launch of Mary on the Green, the campaign to get her a statue. I particularly want to draw readers' attention to time-limited events such as performances and exhibitions, e.g. Shelley's Ghost.
  • Resources: especially Google tools, for anyone to use. A gallery of images. A map of her London residences, and further travels. A calendar of events in her life. A bank of quotes (by and about), and my reflections, leading I hope to analysis and conversation in the comments.
It's my blog, so I get to make the rules. I haven't exactly decided what they are yet, but when I do, they will go here. Guest posts are welcome; contact me first, before you write screeds. Comments are very welcome, and criticism is fine, as long as it isn't personal.