Mary on the Green
Calls for a Memorial Sculpture to Mary Wollstonecraft
"Mary Wollstonecraft is long overdue public recognition... The hypocrisy of the Victorians deprived her of her long overdue honour for far too long" Melvyn Bragg
No substantial memorial to Mary Wollstonecraft exists anywhere in the world. Newington Green Action Group, after local public consultation, has initiated the Mary on the Green fundraising campaign to recognise her achievements by erecting a sculptural memorial to Mary Wollstonecraft on Newington Green. The site is within a Conservation Area and 'In Principle' consent has been granted by Islington Council and Islington Greenspace, who manage the public park and support the campaign. Our funding target is £200,000 – of which £50,000 will be used to set up an educational trust. We have raised £60,000 so far.
Mary Wollstonecraft was: The foremother of feminism: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman(1792) was the first call for equality of the sexes in the English language. She argues women are capable of Reason and that education and financial independence are key issues.
An Enlightenment philosopher: Nobel Laureate and Mary on the Green supporter Amartya Sen calls her “the most underestimated thinker of the C18th”
A political activist: “She claims for women the right to share in the advantages of representation in Parliament, nearly seventy years before women's suffrage was heard of in the House of Commons.” Millicent Fawcett
An early human rights champion: A Vindication of the Rights of Men(1790) demands human equality “Virtue can only flourish among equals”
An educational pioneer: William Gladstone drew on her writings in his designs for state education.
The world’s first female war correspondent: At personal risk she wrote on the French Revolution while living under the Reign of Terror
Mary Wollstonecraft is an icon of social mobility. She was a working single mum from a downwardly-mobile family. She survived domestic violence from her alcoholic father, and became the first woman to earn her living from writing.
She was airbrushed from history following the scandal that met her husband’s biography after her early death.. Her legacy was toxic for over a century. The Suffragist Millicent Fawcett acknowledged this injustice, describing her as a leader in “the battle.”
We have extensive local and grassroots networks, council and planning support, and a vibrant events calendar of community outreach. We have developed an expanding list of influential supporters reaching across Europe, Asia and the Americas. We have local and national cross-party political support including commitment to maintaining a memorial. And we have raised over a third of the money.
“I do not wish [women] to have power over men, but over themselves.”
“It is Justice not charity that is wanting in the world.”
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1792
More details and about this exciting campaign and how to contribute can be found on the Mary on the Green website: www.maryonthegreen.org