The Idler Godwin Project: The ‘Leisure of a Cultivated Understanding’

Happy birthday, William Godwin – 259 years old today! On this day, 3 March 2015, The Idler launches The Godwin Project, inspired by The Letters of William Godwin, edited by Pamela Clemit, 6 vols. in progress (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011-). Across 2015, The Idler will be publishing extracts from the letters, as edited by Clemit, occasional extracts from Godwin’s writings, and short pieces on his anarchistic philosophy and its relevance to our own times. Pamela Clemit opens the series with a birthday tribute on William Godwin and cultivated leisure.

godwin_crop1At the heart of his vision was leisure, but not the mindless leisure that follows from overwork. It was a state of heightened awareness, the ‘leisure of a cultivated understanding’, which would foster creativity, sociability, and work for the public good.

Read the full piece at The Idler.

Advertisements