Linked bibliography for the SEP article "William Godwin" by Mark Philp

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Primary Sources

Godwin’s Works

A complete bibliography of Godwin’s work published in his lifetime is given in volume 1 of The Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin and in volume 1 of The Political and Philosophical works of William Godwin; further information in the collected works section. These collections are referred to as, respectively CNM and PPW.

  • History of the Life of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham printed for the Author and sold by G. Kearsley, published anonymously, London, 1783. (See PPW I)
  • An Account of the Seminary that will be opened on Monday the Fourth Day of August at Epsom in Surrey, published anonymously, London: T. Cadell, 1783. (See PPW V)
  • Sketches of History in Six Sermons, London: T. Cadell, 1784, 190. (Some copies anonymous, others with Godwin’s name) (See PPW VII). (Scholar)
  • The Herald of Literature, as a Review of the most considerable publications that will be made in the course of the ensuing Winter, published anonymously, London: J. Murray, 1784. (See PPW V)
  • Instructions to a Statesman. Humbly inscribed to the Right Honourable George Earl Temple, published anonymously, London: Murray, J. Debrett & J. Sewell, 1784. (See PPW I)
  • An Enquiry concerning Political Justice, and its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness, 2 volumes, London: G. G. & J. Robinson, 1793, 4o, xiii, 378, 379–895. A pirated first edition also published 2 volumes 8o in Dublin by Luke White, 1793, xiii, 411, 424. Copies of the octavo first edition with a Robinson flyleaf also exist. 2nd edition, 2 volumes 8o, London: Robinson, 1796, xviii, 464, v, 545; 3rd edition, 2 volumes 8o, London: Robinson, 1798, lvi, 463, ix, 554. See also Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, 3 volumes, F. E. L. Priestley (ed.), Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1946, 1969. Facsimile reprint of the third edition with variants from the first and second editions in volume 3; Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Isaac Kramnick (ed.), Harmondsworth: Penguin Press, 1976, 825 (third edition); PPW III and IV (first edition text plus variants from manuscript and from the subsequent editions); and An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Mark Philp (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 504, first edition text.
  • Things As They Are; or The Adventures of Caleb Williams, 3 volumes, London: B. Crosby, 1794. Critical edition of the fifth edition edited by D. McCracken, Oxford University Press, 1970. Critical edition of the first edition in CNM III. (Scholar)
  • Cursory Strictures on the Charge delivered by Lord Chief Justice Eyre to the Grand Jury … October 2, 1794, first published in the Morning Chronicle October 21, Published anonymously, London: D. I. Eaton, 1794, and A Reply to an Answer to Cursory Strictures, supposed to be wrote by Judge Buller. By the Author of Cursory Strictures, published anonymously, London: D. I. Eaton, 1794, 7. (See PPW II) (Scholar)
  • Considerations on Lord Grenville’s and Mr. Pitt’s Bills, concerning Treasonable and Seditious Practices, and Unlawful Assemblies. By a Lover of Order, published anonymously, London: J. Johnson, 1795, 86. (See PPW II). (Scholar)
  • The Enquirer, Reflections on Education, Manners and Literature, London:, G. G. & J. Robinson, 1797. (See PPW V).
  • Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman, second edition, corrected, London: J. Johnson, 1798. (See CNM I).
  • St. Leon, A Tale of the Sixteenth Century, 4 volumes, London: G. G. & J. Robinson, 1799. (See CNM IV)
  • Thoughts occasioned by the Perusal of Dr. Parr’s Spital Sermon, preached at Christ Church, April I5, 1800: being a Reply to the Attacks of Dr. Parr, Mr. Mackintosh, the Author of an Essay on Population, and Others, London: G. G. & J. Robinson, 1801. (See, PPW II). (Scholar)
  • Fleetwood. or The New Man of Feeling, 3 volumes, London: R. Phillips, 1805. (See CNM V)
  • Lives of Edward and John Philips. Nephews and Pupils of Milton. Including Various Particulars of the Literary and Political History of their times, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1815, xv, 410.
  • Mandeville, a Tale of the Seventeenth Century in England, 3 volumes, Edinburgh: A. Constable; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1817. (See CNM VI)
  • Letter of Advice to a Young American on the course of studies it might be most advantageous for him to pursue, London. First published: January 16, 2000
    Further Letters of Advice to Joseph Beavan, Analectic Magazine, Philadelphia, 1818. (See PPW V) (Scholar)
  • Of Population. An Enquiry concerning the Power of Increase in the Numbers of Mankind, being an Answer to Mr. Malthus’s Essay on that Subject, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Ornie & Brown, 1820. (See selection in PPW II) (Scholar)
  • History of the Commonwealth of England from its commencement to its restoration, 4 volumes, London: H. Colburn, 1824–8.
  • Thoughts on Man, his Nature, Productions, and Discoveries. Interspersed with some particulars respecting the author, London: Effingham Wilson, 1831. (See PPW VI)
  • Essays, Never before published, by the late William Godwin, C. Kegan Paul (ed.), London: H.S. King, 1873. (See PPW VII, re-edited from the manuscript entitled The Genius of Christianity Unveiled).
  • “Two Pamphlets on the Regency Crisis by William Godwin”, (Enlightenment and Dissent, 20: 185–248, 2001), with an introduction by Pamela Clemit. The pamphlets are: The Law of Parliament in the Present Situation of Great Britain Considered (J. Debrett, 1788) and Reflexions on the Consequences of His Majesty’s Recovery from His Late Indisposition. In a Letter to the People of England (G.G.J. and J.Robinson, 1789). issue containing pamphlets available online (in PDF), on pp. 185–248.

Collected Works

  • [CNM] Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin, 8 volumes, Mark Philp (ed.), London, Pickering and Chatto Publishers Ltd., 1992.
    • A complete scholarly edition of all Godwin’s published novels, his biography of Mary Wollstonecraft, and a range of previously unpublished autobiographical writings. Caleb Williams and Memoirs of the Author of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman are set in the first edition with variants from later editions (and, for Caleb Williams, the manuscript) given in an appendix. All other novels are set from the last edition published within the author’s lifetime. (Scholar)
  • [PPW] Political and Philosophical Writings of William Godwin, 7 volumes, Mark Philp (ed.), London, Pickering and Chatto Publishers Ltd., 1993.
    • A scholarly edition of Godwin’s principal writings in politics, philosophy, education and theology, including previously unpublished manuscript material. The edition is made up of two volumes of Godwin’s principal political essays, including a substantial unpublished essay; two volumes of his Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, which is set in the first edition (volume III) with variants from the manuscript and the second and third editions given in volume IV (volume IV also includes a previously undiscovered first draft of the Enquiry together with manuscript material relating to the publication of and revisions to the Enquiry); the three later volumes collect Godwin’s main educational and literary writings, with previously unpublished material (Volume V), his later essays (volume VI) and his religious writings, including unpublished material and a re-edited edition of Godwin’s last, unfinished work, The Genius of Christianity Unveiled (volume VII). (Scholar)
  • The Letters of William Godwin
    • Volume 1: 1778–1797, Pamela Clemit (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011; (Scholar)
    • Volume 2: 1798–1805, Pamela Clemit (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. (Scholar)

    (The first two of a projected 6 volumes of Godwin’s letters, meticulously edited. Four further volumes are anticipated, together with a selection of letters sent to Godwin.)

  • Four Early Pamphlets (1783–1784), B. R. Pollin (ed.), Gainsville, Florida: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1966. (Scholar)
  • Uncollected Writings (1785–1822), J. E. Marken and B. R. Pollin (eds), Gainsville, Florida, Scholars Facsimiles and Reprints, 1968.

Manuscript Collections

  • Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Abinger collection, owned by the Bodleian Library, is a very extensive holding of Godwin’s manuscript material, correspondence and diaries. Earlier deposits of the Abinger Collection were microfilmed by Duke University but there have been several deposits made subsequently. A major proportion of this material is now available online, with further holdings in Oxford and the Pforzheimer Collection at the New York Public Library being digitised.
  • The Diary of William Godwin, (eds) Victoria Myers, David O’Shaughnessy, and Mark Philp (Oxford: Oxford Digital Library, 2010, available online). The diary kept by Godwin from 1788 to 1836 is a central resource of the Abinger Collection. An edition was published on the website of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford in November 2010. The BSECS prize-winning web-resource is fully searchable, provides scans of the original and an edited transcription. (Scholar)
  • National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The Forster/Dyce Collection includes the manuscripts to Godwin’s Political Justice, Caleb Williams, Life of Chaucer and History of the Commonwealth, and a limited amount of correspondence. (Scholar)
  • Pforzheimer Library, New York. Contains the manuscript of Fleetwood and miscellaneous correspondence and material relating to St Leon. (It has been edited by K. N. Cameron, Shelley and his Circle, volumes I–IV, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1961–70, and D. H. Reiman, volumes V–VI, ibid 1973; the Pforzheimer collection catalogue is now online. (Scholar)
  • Somerset Record Office, Somerset, UK. Contains correspondence and papers relating to Mary Jane Vial (Latter Mrs Clairmont, Godwin’s second wife. See the transcription at available online

Secondary Sources

Bibliographical Works

  • Clemit, Pamela and David Woolls, 2001, “Two New Pamphlets by William Godwin: A Case of Computer-Assisted Authorship Attribution”, Studies in Bibliography, 54 (2001): 265–284. (Scholar)
  • Graham, Kenneth W., 2001, William Godwin Reviewed: A Reception History, 1783–1834, New York: AMS Press. (A compilation of contemporary reviews of Godwin’s work.) (Scholar)
  • Pollin, Burton R., 1967, Godwin Criticism: A Synoptic Bibliography, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 659. (A bibliography of all critical work on Godwin to that date.) (Scholar)

Biographical Works

  • Brown, Ford K., 1926, The Life of William Godwin, London: Dent. (Scholar)
  • Clemit, Pamela, 2015, “Revisiting William Godwin”, Oxford Handbooks Online, first online December 2015, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935338.013.47 [A good update on the literary and historical developments in relation to the study of Godwin’s writings and life.] (Scholar)
  • Hazlitt, William, 1825, “William Godwin”, in The Spirit of the Age, London: Henry Colburn. (Scholar)
  • Locke, Don, 1980, A Fantasy of Reason: The Life and Thought of William Godwin, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. (Scholar)
  • Marshall, Peter, H., 1984, William Godwin, New Haven: Yale University Press. (Scholar)
  • Mee, Jon, 2011, “‘The Use of Conversation’: William Godwin’s Conversable World and Romantic Sociability”, Studies in Romanticism, 50(4): 567–590. (Scholar)
  • O’Brien, Eliza, Helen Stark and Beatrice Turner (eds.), 2021, New Approaches to William Godwin: Forms Fears, Futures, London: Palgrave Macmillan. [A new collection of pieces reflecting recent trends in scholarship on Godwin.] (Scholar)
  • O’Shaughnessy, David and Mark Philp (eds.), 2011, William Godwin Diary, Bodleian Library Record, 24(1). [A special edition of the journal with papers addressing a range of issues made accessible through the digitization of the diary.] (Scholar)
  • Paul, Charles Kegan, 1876, William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries, 2 volumes, London: H.S King. [A substantial biography which remains essential, containing manuscript material no longer available.] (Scholar)
  • Philp, Mark, 2020, Radical Conduct:Politics, Sociability and Equality in London 1789–1815, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [A study of Godwin’s deliberative practices and their place within London’s political and literary Culture between 1789 and 1815.] (Scholar)
  • Roussin, Henri, 1913, William Godwin, Paris: Plon-Nourrit. (Scholar)
  • St. Clair, William, 1989, The Godwins and the Shelleys: The Biography of a Family, London: Faber and Faber. (Scholar)
  • Woodcock, George, 1946, William Godwin. A Biographical Study, London: Porcupine Press. (Scholar)

Philosophical Commentaries

  • Barry, Brian, 1995, Justice as Impartiality, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
  • Campbell, Timothy, 2009, “The Business of War: William Godwin, Enmity, and Historical Representation”, ELH, 76(2): 343–369. doi:10.1353/elh.0.0046 (Scholar)
  • Clark, John P., 1977, The Philosophical Anarchism of William Godwin, Princeton: Princeton University Press. (Scholar)
  • Clemit, Pamela, 1993, The Godwinian Novel, Oxford: Clarendon Press. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2019,“ The Signal of Regard: William Godwin’s Correspondence Networks”, European Romantic Review, 30(4): 353–366. [One of several pieces in an edition of the journal devoted to new work, predominantly literary work on Godwin.] (Scholar)
  • Crowder, George, 1991, Classical Anarchism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
  • Fleischer, David, 1951, William Godwin, a Study in Liberalism, London: George Allen and Unwin. (Scholar)
  • Lamb, Robert, 2006, “The Foundations of Godwinian Impartiality”, Utilitas, 18(2): 134–153. doi:10.1017/s0953820806001890 (Scholar)
  • –––, 2007, “William Godwin on the Morality of Freedom”, History of Political Thought, 28(4): 661–677. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2009a, “Was William Godwin a Utilitarian?Journal of the History of Ideas, 70(1): 119–141. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2009b, “For and Against Ownership: William Godwin’s Theory of Property”, Review of Politics, 71(2): 275–302. (Scholar)
  • Maniquis, Robert M. and Victoria Myers, 2011, Godwinian Moments: From Enlightenment to Romanticism, Toronto: University of Toronto/Clark Library UCLA. (Scholar)
  • Mendus, Susan, 2002, Impartiality in Moral and Political Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
  • Monro, D.H., 1953, Godwin’s Moral Philosophy: An Interpretation of William Godwin, Oxford, Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
  • Morrow, John, 1991, “Republicanism and Public Virtue: William Godwin’s History of the Commonwealth of England”, The Historical Journal, 34(3): 645–664. (Scholar)
  • Philp, Mark, 1986, Godwin’s Political Justice, London: Duckworth. (Scholar)
  • Pollin, Bruton R., 1962, Education and Enlightenment in the works of William Godwin, New York: Las Americas. (Scholar)
  • Singer, Peter, Leslie Cannold, and Helga Kuhse, 1995, “William Godwin and the Defence of Impartialist Ethics”, Utilitas, 7(1): 67–86. doi:10.1017/s0953820800001850 (Scholar)
  • Thevenet, Alain, 1993, William Godwin et l’euthenasie du gouvernement, Lyon: Atelier de creation libertaire. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2002, William Godwin des lumieres a l’anarchisme, Lyon: Atelier de creation libertaire. (Scholar)
  • Tysdahl, B. J., 1981, William Godwin as Novelist, London: Athlone Press. (Scholar)
  • Weston, Rowland, 2002, “Politics, Passion and the ‘Puritan Temper’: Godwin’s Critique of Enlightened Modernity”. Studies in Romanticism, 41(3): 445–470. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2014, “The End of Commandment: William Godwin and the doctrine of necessity”, Eighteenth Century Thought, 5: 67–98. (Scholar)

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