Winner of the Whitbread First Book Prize
'As haunting as good fiction: the proper effect of a biography where warm sympathy and precise observation go hand in hard' Listener
Witty, courageous and unconventional, Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the most controversial figures of her day. She published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman; travelled to revolutionary France and lived through the Terror and the destruction of the incipient French feminist movement; produced an illegitimate daughter; and married William Godwin before dying in childbed at the age of thirty-eight. Often embattled and bitterly disappointed, she never gave up her radical ideas or her belief that courage and honesty would triumph over convention.
'Admirable. In the hands of Tomalin we are able to know much more about Mary Wollstonecraft than any one person did in her lifetime, and indeed more than she knew about herself' New York Times Book Review
'Tomalin is a most intelligent and sympathetic biographer, aware of her impetuous subject's many failings, yet with the perception to present her greatness fairly. She writes well and wittily' Daily Telegraph
'A vivid evocation not only of what Mary went through but also of how women lived in the second part of the eighteenth century. Most of all, however, Tomalin makes Mary Wollstonecraft unforgettable' Evening Standard