It's taken more than 200 years. But there is now, at last, a monument to Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist pioneer and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
Marvellously, it's on Newington Green in north London, within yards of the Unitarian meeting house which she attended (that's the building in a pastel shade of cream - still in use as a Unitarian place of worship).
The design has caused something of a rumpus. It's the work of Maggi Hambling, a distinguished sculptor. And she was, it seems, given free rein.
So we have ended up with a monument which commemorates this remarkable woman which is, well, a touch formless, apart from the fairy at the top of the Christmas tree, a full-frontal naked woman.
This is not a representation of Wollstonecraft, Hambling insists, but an 'everywoman'. And by her representation, without any form of dress, she really is everywoman and not tied to a particular era or culture.
That argument has more force when you see the monument in place rather than in the close-ups of the naked figure that have featured in the press. But it still seems an opportunity lost. This could have been something wonderful - and to be blunt about it, it's not.
The monument has only been in place a few days - the immediate response seems to be a thumbs down.
So, how do you mark such a commanding figure? There are vanishingly few statues and public monuments to non-royal women. If you have a representation that is true to the woman and her times, you end up with billowing clothes which make her seem a period piece rather than a thinker and writer of abiding relevance and importance.
The most famous likeness of Mary Wollstonecraft is the portrait by Sir John Opie in the National Portrait Gallery, which says of the painting:
'Wollstonecraft is portrayed with the utmost simplicity. She wears a high-waisted white cotton gown while her plainly-styled hair is partially covered by a soft hat. She made her views on dress clear in her published work, stating that it should neither distort nor hide the human form but rather "adorn the person and not rival it". This reflected the French Revolutionary emphasis on man's natural rights and honesty; rejecting disguise and ostentation to reveal the 'real' person.'
A point of comparison is with the monument to the suffragist Millicent Fawcett. This is the work of Gillian Wearing and was unveiled in Parliament Square in 2018.
This is a more conventional representation but seeks to show her as an activist. The banner she displays has led critics (feminists among them) to suggest that it looks like she's portrayed putting out the washing.
There is no easy answer. And those behind the Mary on the Green campaign argue that the debate about the merits of Hambling's work have at least brought attention to Wollstonecraft and her legacy.
But I wonder whether this monument will have staying power - whether we will grow to love it or whether it will become something of an awkward embarrassment.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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