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.
Two of the six volumes of The Letters of William Godwin have now been published. Already the edition has expanded Godwin’s circle, bringing new correspondents and associates to light. These figures have been identified – often for the first time – in Pamela Clemit’s scholarly annotations. In this way, the edition is redefining our sense of the national narrative.
Men and women of all social backgrounds read Godwin’s An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. Many of them wrote to him for advice on how to put its principles into practice in their own lives. From provincial women poets and amateur lexicographers to philosophical travellers, Godwin’s correspondents came from all regions of Britain.
An essential resource for the edition is the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, now under the general editorship of Professor Sir David Cannadine. The ODNB is the national record of nearly 60,000 men and women (all deceased) who shaped British history and culture from Roman times to the present day. First published in print and online in 2004, the ODNB is a unique resource which is available for consultation in all UK public libraries.
The ODNB is regularly updated online with new biographies and thematic content.