||The sketch for the frontispiece to Original Stories from Real Life, the only complete work of children’s literature by 18th-century British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. The book was first published by Joseph Johnson in 1788; a second, illustrated edition, with engravings by William Blake based on his own drawings, was released in 1791 and remained in print for around a quarter of a century. The book begins with a frame story, which sketches out the education of two young girls by their maternal teacher Mrs. Mason, followed by a series of didactic tales. Wollstonecraft employed the burgeoning genre of children’s literature to promote the education of women and an emerging middle-class ideology. She argued that women could be rational adults if educated properly as children (not a widely held belief in the 18th century).
Artist: William Blake; Restoration: Lise Broer