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Mary Wollstonecraft (detail of print after John Opie; © The Trustees of the British Museum)
History of science lecture by Professor Sharon Ruston.
Sharon Ruston is Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature and Culture at Salford University.
During the two-year period of the composition and publication of her Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Mary Wollstonecraft, the mother of Mary Shelley and early advocate of women’s rights, read and reviewed a number of important works of natural history for a periodical called the Analytical Review. Wollstonecraft is not known for her interest in science but in this talk I show that reading these texts helped her to formulate her feminist theory. Close attention to her reviews of natural history reveal her developing thought on issues of equality, education, and what it means to be human. On a more general note,Wollstonecraft’s reviews show that in the late eighteenth century, people were aware of the political purpose of scientific writings.
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.
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