August 4 in freethought history…

shelleyAugust 4, 1792 – English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley is born in Sussex, England. He influenced other writers even during his short life, including his wife Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein. Shelley was kicked out of Oxford in 1811 after he distributed a pamphlet titled “The Necessity of Atheism.” Shelley died in Lerici, Italy, aged 29.

August 4, 1892 –  Atheist, feminist and abolitionist Ernestine Louise Rose dies in Brighton, England, aged 82. Born into a Jewish family in Poland in 1810, she began to question religious orthodoxy and traditional assumptions about women from an early age. After extricating herself from an arranged marriage, she eventually emigrated to Englandand married William Rose. The two moved to America, where she lectured frequently on women’s rights, religious tolerance and abolition of slavery. She and her husband returned to England due to health concerns, where she advocated for women’s suffrage.

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