The Letters Of William Godwin: Volume 1: 1778-1797

Hardcover | March 17, 2011

EditorPamela Clemit

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William Godwin became a leading public intellectual during the crisis in British politics which followed the French Revolution. The impact of his social theories was acknowledged by almost every significant literary figure in Britain for the next quarter-century, and his influence endured muchlonger in Europe. He married Mary Wollstonecraft, the early advocate of women's rights, and was the father of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. All of his letters are published for the first time in this edition. The first volume (1778-1797) includes scores of texts newly transcribed from the original manuscripts and given scholarly annotation for the first time. The letters trace the development of Godwin's personality from his background in English religious nonconformity, through his early struggle forrecognition as a gifted writer, to his years of fame in the 1790s. They illuminate his most celebrated works, An Enquiry concerning Political Justice (1793) and the novel Caleb Williams (1794); his intervention in the treason trials of 1794; and his relations with publishers. They reveal hisintellectual and emotional mentorship of a succession of creative men and women. They chart his education in a 'new language' of feeling through his courtship of Mary Wollstonecraft, and bear witness to the shock of her early death. Godwin's letters reflect the cultural history of his times, andthrow light on many other literary, political, and artistic figures. These letters record the personal and professional interactions of an original thinker who had a lasting influence on progressive movements in Britain and Europe, and is still widely read today.

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William Godwin became a leading public intellectual during the crisis in British politics which followed the French Revolution. The impact of his social theories was acknowledged by almost every significant literary figure in Britain for the next quarter-century, and his influence endured muchlonger in Europe. He married Mary Wollstone...

Pamela Clemit is Professor of English Studies at Durham University. Her other books include The Godwinian Novel (1993), also published by Oxford University Press. She has published a dozen or so scholarly and critical editions of William Godwin's and Mary Shelley's writings, including an Oxford World's Classics edition of Caleb Willia...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pagesPublished:March 17, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019956261X

ISBN - 13:9780199562619

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Table of Contents

DedicationAcknowledgementsList of LettersList of IllustrationsAbbreviations and SymbolsIntroductionA Note on Editorial PrinciplesChronology: William Godwin, 1756-1797Letters, 1778-1797 (Numbers 1-186)Appendix: Undated LettersAppendix 2: Articles of Agreement for Political JusticeAppendix 3: Letters in the Abinger papers: Old and New Shelfmarks