Mary Anne (or Mary Ann) Radcliffe was the daughter of a prosperous merchant. She eloped with Joseph Radcliffe at the age 14, and the couple had 7 or 8 children. To help support her family after her husband's investments failed, Mary Anne worked at physically demanding jobs before becoming a governess for an aristocratic family. Her first and most famous work, "The Female Advocate, or an Attempt to Recover the Rights of Woman from Male Usurpation," was written out of personal indignation at the inequality of women and their limited opportunities to earn a decent living, and was originally published in 1799. Her Memoirs were published by subscription in 1810.