Godwin, William, 1756-1836

Alternative names
Birth 1756-03-03
Death 1836-04-07

Biographical notes:

English philosopher and novelist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [London], to Charles Ollier, [no year], May 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269571863

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to J. Howard Payne, [no year] "Monday morning." (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269575123

William Godwin was widely known as the father of philosophical anarchism. He was a Dissenting minister until 1783 when his atheism made him abandon the ministry for London and a literary career. He wrote several novels and a biography of his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft, but his major interest was in political philosophy.

From the description of William Godwin letter to Dear Sir, 1819 Dec. 6. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 60573846

William Godwin, English philosopher and novelist. Godwin achieved celebrity at the end of the eighteenth century with the philosophical treatise Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and the novel Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams. His first wife was Mary Wollstonecraft, pioneer for women's rights, and their only child together grew up to become Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. Godwin's philosophies greatly influenced the political mind of his son-in-law, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

From the description of William Godwin manuscript material : 338 items, 1778-1836 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 153321362

From the guide to the William Godwin manuscript material : 383 items, 1778-1836, (The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.)

English political philosopher and novelist.

From the description of Autograph letter unsigned : [n.p.], to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1800 Sept. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269587477


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  • Revolutionaries--Correspondence
  • Autobiographies
  • Novelists, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Poets, English
  • Notes
  • Catalogues
  • Authors, English--19th century
  • Philosophers--Correspondence
  • Authors, English


  • Philosophers


  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)