Below are some notable things that Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley said and or wrote when they were alive. These two women were so similar in their ideals and personalities that the attributions for these quotes are often confused and inaccurately attributed to the Mary who didn’t actually say or write it. Or perhaps… Mary Shelley said or wrote similar things, often copying or emulating her mother.

I decided that I’m going to write a dialogue between Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, for this week’s writing prompt: Write a Dialogue With a Notable Woman in History even though they never knew each other when they were alive.

Luckily, I have a lot of material they wrote, and material that has been written about them, to wade through to get a better sense of what would be included in a dialogue they may have had if they had been afforded such an opportunity. 

Here are a few notable things they’ve written or said that have offered me some insight. Can you tell who said what based on what you might already know about them? If you’re not sure, a quick Google search will help clear up who said what… or will it…

“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

“It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.” 

“My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed— my dearest pleasure when free.” 

“When we feel deeply, we reason profoundly.”

“The beginning is always today.”

“Taught from infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”

We are fashioned creatures, but half made up.”

“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

Stay tuned for my completed writing draft for this week’s writing prompt. I’ll share it on the blog on Friday. 

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