Samantha Silva on Writing a Novel About Mary Wollstonecraft
From the History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today? Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
The writer, philosopher, and trailblazing feminist Mary Wollstonecraft is perhaps best known as the mother of the author of Frankenstein, but this amazing figure deserves more attention than a line in Mary Shelley’s biography. As the author of classic works like Thoughts on the Education of Daughters and A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Wollstonecraft advanced arguments hundreds of years ahead of her time.
In this episode, Jacke talks with screenwriter and novelist Samantha Silva (Mr. Dickens and His Carol) about her approach to writing novels, her immersion in the world of Wollstonecraft, and the pleasures and insights that her new work Love and Fury: A Novel of Mary Wollstonecraft can give to the rest of us.