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A Woman's Rights

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 802069. New York Public Library 802073. New York Public Library Perhaps the truly telling factor in women's lives in the 1830s was how little civil rights they possessed. The women of the later Enlightenment years were more brazen in their demands for personal and legal freedoms. Even the French Revolution had done nothing real for women's liberty. Someone like the late Mary Wollstonecraft would be derided in this century' all her thoughtful writings now criticized in terms of her dubious morality.

Her daughter, the future Mary Shelley, would inherit none of the advantages her mother pleaded for. From an early age, the younger Mary had the gift of storytelling. Unfortunately, her later years, which included the 1830s, were spent under the shadow of her dead poet husband. She woudl turn to hackw riting in periodicals to support herself and her son. The woman of this time had no identity other that that of being a daughter, sister, wife, mother- or widow.

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