Mary Wollstonecraft and the Dissenters of Newington Green, 1794
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) challenged convention both through her personal life and her writing. She wrote ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Men’, arguing for republicanism. This was swiftly followed by ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ (1792) which developed her concerns for women’s emancipation and education and is now recognised as a classic of feminism. “The DIVINE RIGHT of husbands, like the divine right of kings, may, it is to be hoped, in this enlightened age, be contested without danger …”
Seen here outside the Unitarian Chapel in Newington Green, London, where dissenters, radical Presbyterians, Baptists and non-conformists debated ideas of the Enlightenment. Mary wears a tricolour cockade, having recently returned from revolutionary France.
She died soon after giving birth to Mary Shelley, author of ‘Frankenstein’.
One of a set of eight images from Red Saunders’ Hidden Project.
The Hidden Project
The Hidden Project recreates great moments in the long struggle of working people for democracy and social justice. The aim of the project, through reimagining those events, is to reproduce important historic scenes involving the dissenters, revolutionaries, radicals and non-conformists who have so often been hidden from history. Tony Benn, Patron of the Hidden Project, says “Those who see these photographic representations will then be able to identify with past generations and gain confidence from the knowledge that they are part of a world-wide movement that has always existed and must be sustained.”
Red Saunders is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, musical and political activism.
Images copyright Red Saunders 2011. Retouching by Adrian Hayes.
Further information and full credit list of supporters and volunteers on ‘The Hidden Project’ go to the website: www.redsaundersphoto.eu.