Fanny Blood

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Fanny Blood
A Plate from Flora Londinensis.jpg
A plate from Flora Londinensis
Died29 November 1785(1785-11-29) (aged 26–27)
SpouseHugh Skeys

Frances "Fanny" Blood (1758 – 29 November 1785) was an English illustrator and educator, and longtime friend of Mary Wollstonecraft.

Early life[edit]

Blood was born in 1758, the daughter of Matthew Blood the Younger (1730–1794) and Caroline Roe (c. 1730–1805).[1]


Blood was paid by the botanist William Curtis to paint wildflowers for his book Flora Londinensis. This created an income for her family. Blood was engaged to Hugh Skeys, a wine merchant of Dublin, but her fiancé had gone to sea to establish money that would finance their marriage.[2]

Fanny Blood and her brother, Lieutenant George Blood (1762–1844), were good friends with Mary Wollstonecraft. They met in 1774 after introductions by common friends, the Clares.[2] As Wollstonecraft's husband William Godwin wrote, Wollstonecraft "contracted a friendship so fervent, as for years to have constituted the ruling passion of her mind".[3]

Blood, together with Mary Wollstonecraft and Wollstonecraft's sisters, Eliza and Everina, opened a school, first in Islington, which soon failed, and then in Newington Green. The school was combined with a boarding house for women and their children.[4] On 24 February 1785 Blood married Skeys. When Blood married and left the school, Wollstonecraft left as well to take care of her friend—the second school failing as well.[5]

Blood died in childbirth in Lisbon, Portugal, on 29 November 1785.[1] Wollstonecraft was deeply affected by Blood's death, which in part inspired her first novel, Mary: A Fiction (1788).[6] Wollstonecraft named her daughter, Fanny Imlay (1794–1816), after her friend.


  1. ^ a b "Fanny Blood". Retrieved 24 September 2017. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Charlotte Gordon (25 February 2016). Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley. Random House. pp. 39–41. ISBN 978-0-09-959239-6.
  3. ^ Godwin, 50.
  4. ^ Kelly, Gary (2016). Revolutionary Feminism: The Mind and Career of Mary Wollstonecraft. Springer. p. 27. ISBN 9781349243273. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  5. ^ Janet, Todd (2002). Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life. Columbia University Press. p. 62. ISBN 9780231121859. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  6. ^ Wardle, Ralph Martin (1951). Mary Wollstonecraft: a critical biography. University of Kansas Press. p. Chapter 2. ISBN 9780803252110. Retrieved 24 September 2017.