Today’s featured picture sketches for the front of Original Stories from Real Life

Today’s featured picture

Frontispiece to Original Stories from Real Life 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