Godwin Mary Wollstonecraft
Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797); wife of William Godwin (q.v.), was the daughter of an Irishman of bad character, who spent a large fortune and left his daughters to go out as governesses. She met Godwin and Thomas Paine in London in 1791. Next year she went to Paris and made the acquaintance of an American named Imlay, with whom she lived for four years. When deserted by him she threw herself into the river at Putney Bridge, but was taken up by a passing boat. A few months after their separation she formed a connection with William Godwin, and though both disapproved of permanent unions, they were married before the birth of Mary, afterwards tnfe wife of Shelley. Her name is now chiefly remembered by her Vindication of the Bights of Women (1792), the earliest demand for "women's rights;" but her Letters Written in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have some merit.