Vindicated: The Story of Mary Wollstonecraft

Vindicated: The Story of Mary Wollstonecraft is a historical novel by N. J. Mastro portraying the 18th-century British writer and philosopher, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), widely considered the world's first feminist. The novel is not yet available. Mastro is actively seeking an agent and publisher. Inquiries may be directed here.

In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft published her ground-breaking text, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Since then women have benefitted from one woman's willingness to call attention to disparities in the way society educated half its population. At the time, Wollstonecraft was admired and scorned for her audacity. Yet her words lived on well after her death and inspired women's movements around the globe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, demonstrating the impact of a single person's actions.

Mary’s epic story is one of a woman’s ongoing search for her truest self. Headstrong and outspoken, Mary declares at fifteen to never marry, knowing it will subject her to a man's rule. Yet she is desperate to break free of her violent father, who has squandered his inheritance - and thus her annuity - and her battered mother who despises her. If Mary is to escape and live singly, she must find a way to earn her own living.

Disappointed with her limited employment options, Mary eventually takes what is available to middle-class women and soon finds herself living in storied places while in service to Great Britain's aristocracy. Eventually, through grit and determination, she becomes a successful writer, only to find the life of independence she so desires comes at a price. As this avowed spinster matures, she must untangle what truly drives her and reckon with desires she never expected to encounter.  With her propensity to defy convention, scandals ensue, their after-effects propelling her across Europe in search of answers. 

Mastro has a new book underway about Mary Wollstonecraft's daughter, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.