Published: October 7, 2011
by PETER GRUNER
SUPPORTERS of early British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft are being urged to vote for an Islington community project helping to raise money for a larger-than-life-size statue to commemorate her pioneering achievements.
Mary (1759-97), mother of Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein, lived in Newington Green, where she ran a girls’ school.
After publishing books on girls’ education and civil rights, she went on to write A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), demanding “Justice for one half of the human race”.
She was also an innovative educator, a political philosopher, a war correspondent and an early anti-slavery commentator, whose works are still quoted today.
A plaque to Mary was installed six months ago on the wall of a local school close to where she taught.
Now Newington Green Action Group need to raise more than £200,000 for a bronze or stone statue which will be placed on the green overlooking the 18th-century Unitarian church.
The “Mary on the Green” project is competing for a NatWest bank Community Force grant of £6,000. In order to win the grant, more people need to vote online.
Spokesman for the group Alex Allardyce said he hoped as many people as possible would support the scheme.
He added: “Mary was never recognised in her own life and we hope this statue will help change that. She was a great influence and inspiration for the women’s movement.”
Roberta Wedge, another member of the campaign, said: “I’ve loved Mary’s work since I was a teenager although sadly we were never taught about her at school. She should be taught in schools to girls and boys because she was a pioneer in the field of human and civil rights.”
• Vote for the NatWest project at: http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/2478 - Votes must be cast before October 23.
• Find out more and donate on NAG website, www.maryonthegreen.org