A feminist icon has been honoured with a statue in north London more than 200 years after her death.
The statue features a naked woman emerging with strength from an amalgamation of other female bodies.
A campaign has been running for 10 years to have a statue placed in Newington Green, where Ms Wollstonecraft opened up a girl’s boarding school when she was 25-years-old. A target to raise £143,300 to fund the creation of the statue was reached in 2019 following donations from charities and fundraisers.
According to the campaigners, the statue, called a Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft, is cast in silvered bronze.
They add: “The sculpture combines female forms which commingle and rise together as if one, culminating in the figure of a woman standing free. She is Everywoman, her own person, ready to confront the world.
“As opposed to traditional male heroic statuary, the free-standing woman has evolved organically from, is supported by, and does not forget, all her predecessors who advocated, campaigned and sacrificed themselves for women’s emancipation.”
Born in 1759, Ms Wollstonecraft was an early champion of human rights. Her book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published in 1792, called for gender equality a century ahead of the suffragettes, prompting Millicent Fawcett to describe her as “the leader in that battle”.
She married twice and had two children, one of who was Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Ms Wollstonecraft died in 1797, a few days after giving birth to Mary, due to complications following childbirth.
Author Bee Rowlatt, who headed the campaign for a sculpture honouring the activist, said: “Wollstonecraft’s political legacy is huge – her ideas changed the world. It took courage to fight for human rights and education for all, even more so for someone of Wollstonecraft’s gender and background. But following her early death in childbirth her legacy was buried, in a sustained misogynistic attack. Today we are finally putting this injustice to rights.”
Discussing her statue, Ms Hambling said: “This sculpture encourages a visual conversation with the obstacles Wollstonecraft overcame, the ideals she strived for, and what she made happen. A vital contemporary discourse for all that is still to be achieved.”