"I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves."   
                         Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - 1792

The Wollstonecraft Name

There are generally many changes to the spelling of names over time. Differences can be understood by considering that many years ago few people were literate, so clerks had to
record names phonetically.

Among the written variations to the name Woolstonecraft can be found alternatives such as Wollstonecraft, Woolstoncroft and Wolstencroft.Occasionally, it can also be found as Wors(t)encroft, Wosencroft, or even Wozencroft. The most normal ending is croft, with the derivation of craft being somewhat unusual.

Wollstonecraft derived originally from the Saxon name of Wulfstan which later developed into Wol(f)stan. The name means wolf stone and is one of a number of names based on Wolf.
In ancient mythology, the wolf was held in high esteem and was sacred to the god Woden.
Woden's wolf was symbolic of power and freedom. As an animal to be feared in the forests of Europe, together with the aura of mystique surrounding it, the wolf features in very many folk
tales and legends.

Tun refers to enclosed ground, which can also be a village or town; whilst the addition of croft, similarly relates to an enclosed parcel of land.

Phonetics and Pronunciation

To download a small (12k) audio pronunciation file of Wollstonecraft, please click here

Citing Information

To cite this project, you may wish to use the following information: Cross, M. (2006) The Life and Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, 3rd Year Project (Education and Gender), De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.  URL: http://www.frejya.net/mary


Please use this link for all comments or questions concerning Mary Wollstonecraft or this website.

Legal Stuff

This website originated in Jan 2006 and is based upon a De Montfort University, 3rd year Education and Gender project, about the 'Life and Works of Mary Wollstonecraft'. The content is split between a wide range of existing source material, supplemented by original texts. Extensive references are used throughout plus a full listing follows the conclusion. However, if any reference has been accidentally omitted, please accept my apologies. If notified I will be happy to add additional credits and references accordingly. MJC

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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was important because it turned the ideas of suffrage, equal rights and the right to better education into a cause. Wollstonecraft was the first to do this. Although too far ahead of her time to achieve success, equality for women became a political issue for the first time.

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