New Publication: Letters of William Godwin Cast Light on the Eighteenth Century


Portrait of William Godwin, by James Northcote (1802)

The first volume of a six-book project to transcribe and edit the letters of William Godwin has recently been published. Edited by Professor Pamela Clemit, The Letters of William Godwin Volume 1: 1778-1797 casts new light on the literary relationships of one of the most influential writers of the eighteenth century.

William Godwin was the author of Caleb Williams, one of the great novels of the 18th century, and of Political Justice, a founding text of philosophical anarchism. He was the husband of Mary Wollstonecraft, the early advocate of women’s rights; the father of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein; and the father-in-law of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

“The editor, Pamela Clemit, judges the tone and texture of her notes perfectly, so that the glosses to each letter are at once self-contained, engaging and accessible, as well as skilfully integrated into the volume as a…

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