‘World-first’ comic book about Mary Wollstonecraft’s life to be given out to primary schools

Mary Wollstonecraft on the comic’s front cover. Image: Martha Mackay

A “world-first” comic book about the life of ‘mother of feminism’ Mary Wollstonecraft is to be given away to primary schools across Islington and Hackney, along with a free six-week lesson plan designed to fit in with the national curriculum.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Newington Green Meeting House, which Wollstonecraft once frequented, the People’s History Museum, and the Wollstonecraft Society.

It will see youngsters explore different aspects of Wollstonecraft’s philosophy and learn about concepts including mindfulness, feminism and preservation of the past.

An inside page from the comic

The 12-page comic is the work of artist Martha Mackay, who charts Wollstonecraft’s life, work and relationships from her birth in Spitalfields in 1759 to her death in 1797.

Amy Todd, programme manager at Newington Green Meeting House, said: “It’s our job here to bring the radical stories of Mary Wollstonecraft to new audiences – and that’s what we’re doing with this free, six-week scheme of work and world-first comic.

“We hope that learners and teachers across the country will find these resources helpful and enjoy learning about Mary’s inspiring life and what we can learn from her.”

Pupils will get their own workbook for each weekly lesson, while PowerPoint slides explain activities they can take part in, such as creating the perfect recipe for a supportive friendship, becoming feminist time detectives by analysing historical photographs, and researching and sharing information about people in their local area who inspire them.

Two sculptures of Mary Wollstonecraft have been installed in Newington Green recently – one on the Green itself and another inside the Meeting House.

Wollstonecraft is widely known as the ‘mother of feminism’. Her book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, called for gender equality a century before the cause was taken up by the suffragettes.

She belonged to the Newington Green Unitarian Church that once used the Meeting House, which has come to be known as the ‘birthplace of feminism’. Along with having a room named after her, Wollstonecraft’s favourite pew has been memorialised inside the main hall.

Primary schools in Hackney and Islington will receive a free copy of the comic and anyone can email amy@new-unity.org to buy a copy