THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
Anna Letitia Barbauld
Born in London on April 27, 1759.
Second of seven children of Edward John.
Haphazard education she learned to read and
understand the Bible from her friend, a clergyman.
1781- the death of her mother.
1782- after her mother’s death, Mary goes to live with her friend,
1783- she leaves Fanny to go save her sister from a difficult
marriage. She does not leave with her until 1784 (the two went into
hiding, leaving Eliza’s daughter behind).
Mary worked to create a school with Fanny and her sister, Eliza.
She later met Rev. Richard Price, and she felt she needed to rise to
his defense, which lead to her writing, Vindication of the Rights of Men.
Her school later collapsed and she focused on her literary career as
a reader and writer of great literature.
A Vindication of Rights of Woman: with Strictures on
Political and Moral Subjects was published in 1791.
This writing focused on the flaws of marriage and
education. She desired all women to be educated
and to not fall to the strictures of society.
Gilbert Imlay American merchant and writer (1792). The
couple never married, and Imlay was thought to be
Wollstonecraft’s reason for unhappiness. “Passions are not so
easily brought to heel by reason.” The relationship ended after
infidelity and rejection.
They had a daughter, Fanny.
She attempted suicide twice after the birth of Fanny.
In 1796, Mary and William Godwin became
They married in 1797, and in August, Mary
Wollstonecraft Godwin was born. Their daughter
would later become Mary Shelly, the author of
Born in 1743.
Born at Leicestershire to Rev. John and Jane
Highly educated and was taught to read young.
Celebrated poet of the 18th century.
“THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN”
In her poem, “The Rights of Woman”, Anna Letitia Barbauld
responds to Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of
Woman with a rather sardonic tone.
“They rights are empire: urge no meaner claim…Make treacherous
Man thy subject, not they friend” Many ideas were taken out of
Wollstonecraft questioned many ideas of
Barbauld, which could have led to the negative
response to Vindication.
Barbauld ends her poem with this point, “social
differences between the two sexes is irrelevant in the
face of their love for one another.”
LATE LIFE AND DEATH
Barbauld continued to write and publish until she died at
Wollstonecraft appeared to be the exact person she wrote
about: uneducated, fell for the vanity of a man, etc. Perhaps
Barbauld knew this?
Known as one of the best poets Englad could ever boast