A Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft has been made by one of Britain’s most important and sometimes controversial artists, Maggi Hambling. The unveiling on Tuesday follows 10 years of trying to raise the £143,000 required to achieve it. The campaign was launched in 2010 by volunteers keen to have Wollstonecraft’s legacy remembered close to where she lived and worked, setting up a girl’s boarding school in Newington Green, aged 25.
Wollstonecraft was an important philosopher and educationalist best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published in 1792. But her reputation was “annihilated” by misogyny, said writer Bee Rowlatt, who led the campaign. The suffragist Millicent Fawcett helped restore Wollstonecraft’s reputation, a century after her death in 1797 aged just 38, shortly after giving birth to her daughter Mary – the novelist Mary Shelley.