Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Rachel Brownstein

Subject Categories

Film and Media Studies | Legal Biography | Women's Studies


biography, film script, Godwin, life writing, screenplay, Wollstonecraft


This thesis is a screenplay for an imagined "biopic" of Mary Wollstonecraft. Wollstonecraft has already been the subject of many biographies, each presenting their authors' own understanding of her life. Here, I present my view, guided -- to varying and sometimes conflicting degrees -- by my understanding of her own fictionalized autobiographical efforts; by my understanding of Godwin's attempted work in his Memoir of the Author of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman; by the idea that her beliefs about virtue and freedom drove her forward through her own life; by the needs of narrative structure and the challenges and opportunities of the film form; by her works, her letters, and Godwin's Memoir; and by my own admitted desire to portray her life as bold, adventurous, and ultimately a triumph rather than a tragedy. This last consideration was the foremost in my selection of the format of an imagined film as the medium of this biography.