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A forty year old virgin in real life

February 23, 2010

So, Mary Wollstonecraft’s husband, William Godwin, was a virgin, yes, a virgin when he started his relationship with her. He was forty years old and, out of sheer terror, had been rejecting the advances of pretty women for many years. She was thirty-seven and had already had a passionate (and horrendous) love affair and a child to go with it. No, he was not gay. He was the product of a family so “puritanical that his father considered fondling the cat a profanation of the Lord’s Day.” After his first intimate encounter with the passionate Mary Wollstonecraft who confessed she could not overcome her own “voluptuous sensations,” he said he felt “feverish and unwell.” But before long, he gave in, referring to himself as her “boy pupil” and her as “Adorable maitresse.”

As for me, I am deeply, anxiously, and sadly aware that Mary W has only a year left to live, even as I write about this, her last love affair.

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