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

For updates on my work, and other scholarship on Godwin and related subjects, please follow my blog.

New Publication: ‘Letters and Journals’, in The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism (10/2/2018) - An essay by Pamela Clemit, ‘Letters and Journals’, has just been published in The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism, edited by David Duff (pp. 418-33). The essay includes discussion of writings by Claire Clairmont, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Godwin, John Keats, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, and others. Romanticism was … Continue reading New Publication: ‘Letters and Journals’, in The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism
‘A serjeant of militia!’ Martin Smart, a Correspondent of William Godwin (4/17/2018) - The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is working with The Letters of William Godwin, edited by Pamela Clemit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011-), to bring new information about Godwin and his correspondence networks to a wider readership. To read more about the project, click here. The second ODNB entry arising from this collaboration has now been published. The … Continue reading ‘A serjeant of militia!’ Martin Smart, a Correspondent of William Godwin
New Post: Thomas Love Peacock in the Idler (1/23/2018) - This piece by Pamela Clemit was first published in the Idler, No. 57 (Nov.-Dec. 2017): Wine, Love and Song: Thomas Love Peacock Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866) was the original idler. He worked for thirty-seven years at the East India Company, and wrote about his daily routine: From ten to eleven, ate a breakfast for seven: … Continue reading New Post: Thomas Love Peacock in the Idler

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