My Current Research

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Pamela Clemit

William Godwin (1756-1836) was a protean figure of the English Enlightenment and a precursor of the modern social thinker. His most famous works are An Enquiry concerning Political Justice (1793), a foundational text of philosophical anarchism, and the novel Caleb Williams (1794). Political Justice was a focal point for English supporters of the French Revolution, and continues to engage and inspire scholars and political activists up to the present day. Godwin also wrote biographies, essays, works of educational theory, children’s books, and historiography. His first wife was Mary Wollstonecraft, the early advocate of women’s rights. Their daughter Mary grew up to marry Percy Bysshe Shelley, and to write Frankenstein (1818). Godwin is at the centre of my current work. I am the General Editor and the principal Volume Editor of the Oxford University Press edition of The Letters of William Godwin, 6 vols. (2011-). My research interests are in English literature of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and they intersect with history, politics, and philosophy. Much of my research is archival. I have worked extensively on the Abinger Collection at the Bodleian Library and on the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at the New York Public Library.

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Blog

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New Post: Walking with the Romantics in the Idler (6/22/2021) - This piece by Pamela Clemit was first published in the Idler, No. 48 (February 2016), 58-61: Freedom of the Road: Walking with the Romantics Travelling on foot had a subversive edge in the age of the French Revolution. The educated classes aspired to the slow life and took to the road. They wanted to step off the social ladder, … Continue reading New Post: Walking with the Romantics in the Idler
Featured Publication: New Approaches to William Godwin (5/7/2021) - Eliza O’Brien, Helen Stark, and Beatrice Turner have edited a collection of essays, New Approaches to William Godwin: Forms, Fears, Futures, which has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan (2021). The volume comprises eleven chapters, with an introduction by the editors, and explores texts from across the whole of Godwin’s career. Thanks to Eliza, Helen, and … Continue reading Featured Publication: New Approaches to William Godwin
New Post: Letters of the Romantics in the Idler (4/27/2021) - This piece by Pamela Clemit was first published in the Idler, No. 71 (Mar.-Apr. 2020), 81-4: Quilling Me Softly: Letters of the Romantics On 14 May 1800, William Wordsworth and his brother John set off to walk from Grasmere, in the Lake District, to Gallow Hill, near Scarborough in Yorkshire. Their sister Dorothy began a … Continue reading New Post: Letters of the Romantics in the Idler

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