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.

Announcement: MLA 2017 Special Session on Godwin, Shelley, and Hazlitt (7/29/2016) - A Special Session will be held at the 2017 MLA Annual Convention (Philadelphia, 5-8 January) on Thursday 5 January, 1:45-3:00 p.m., 104B, Pennsylvania Convention Center. Reloading the Romantic Canon: New Texts and Contexts from Godwin, Shelley, and Hazlitt Until the last two decades of the twentieth century, the canon of British Romantic authors installed by the […]
New Post: Rachel Prescott, a Manchester Correspondent of William Godwin (5/27/2016) - 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 first ODNB entry arising from this collaboration has now been published. The ODNB […]
Guest Post: John Bugg, ‘The Generosity of Joseph Johnson’ (4/19/2016) - Joseph Johnson’s bookshop at 72 St Paul’s Churchyard, London, served as a hub for some of the most important writers and artists of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. William Godwin’s diary records his attendance at Johnson’s monthly dinners from the mid-1790s to around 1810. (The tradition was continued, after Johnson’s death in 1809, by his great-nephew […]

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