Single Mothers of Invention

Just as she had her own ideas about dance and costuming, Duncan also disregarded the idea that children were only for married people. She and her lover, Gordan Craig, split because of career differences-she chose hers over his and marriage-but Duncan decided to have the child with whom she was pregnant anyway. She gave birth to her daughter, Deirdre, (pictured left, on cover) alone on September 24, 1905 after two days of labor. On May 1, 1910, Duncan gave birth to her son Patrick, who had a different father than Deirdre.

At the ages of eight and three-years-old, Deirdre and Patrick died as the limo they rode in crashed into the waters of the Seine River in France. Duncan mourned the loss of her babies for a very long time.

Duncan did marry Sergei Essenine, a man much younger than she was, in 1922. She died tragically in an accident in 1927, when the long flowing scarf she was wearing got caught in the spokes of the wheels of the automobile she was driving.


Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

A feminist and the mother of the author of Frankenstein, Wollstonecraft was a unique woman in the 1700s. In 1792, at about the age of 32, she moved to France alone to see the great revolution for herself. This was considered a great demonstration of independence in her day.

While in France, Mary met Captain Gilbert Imlay, with whom she lived until she gave birth to her daughter Fanny, out-of-wedlock. Imlay then left her, but Mary supported herself with income from her writing that included novels and political essays. In 1792, she published "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman." The core of her argument was: "Tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former only want slaves and the latter a plaything,"

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