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Dearest Girl

She jumps off the page; vivid, intelligent and sincere. Mary Wollstonecraft was a brilliant woman; an early radical advocate of women’s rights, outspoken advocate for social justice and free speech. She was also passionate and conflicted. Her writing and the way she chose to live her life was shocking in its day. Her first child was a daughter, named Fanny. Wollstonecraft died shortly after giving birth to a second daughter who would be known as Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

Dearest Girl is inspired by the relationship between mother and daughter. Wollstonecraft was a devoted mother to Fanny. She wrote delightful children’s books and essays on raising children in a clean environment, the importance of free play, unstructured clothing, and education for girls as well as boys (shocking though that was). She wrote moving letters and notes about little Fanny, describing how much she delighted in the little girl. Her words are moving and intimate. A close relationship developed between the two, especially after Fanny’s father deserted them. In one piece of writing she refers to Fanny as...Dearest Girl. Fanny was three when her mother died. Fanny mourned this loss all her short life.

The pendant is made from a silver salt shaker lid. The rounded shape refers to the mother's body - a vessel. On the interior of the lid I have inserted an amber button to give strength to the fragile silver. Inside the vessel is a small nosegay of flowers, inserted with pearls. A tiny wing hangs down. Pearls and wings refer to an innocence. A small talisman was constructed from a vintage glass fuse, over which is wrapped a partial reconstruction of the letter Mary wrote to her daughter ....'Dearest Girl...' The pen nib is plain and unadorned, yet strikingly beautiful. The white victorian button refers to domestic ties always present...never discarded.


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