“The originality of Caleb Williams will be obvious to the student or general reader who encounters it in this exemplary addition to the Broadview [Editions] series. The editors provide a clear, thorough introduction that places the novel in its political, philosophical, and literary contexts, as well as a chronology and bibliography. Six appendices serve up generous helpings of the fruits of recent scholarship that illuminate the fiction’s relation to things as they were. Providing glimpses of Godwin at work, samples of ardent political discourse of the 1790s, and snippets of narrative by Holcroft, Wollstonecraft, Richardson, Defoe, and less well-known writers, the supplementary materials are fascinating in themselves.” Rachel M. Brownstein, The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY
Caleb Williamsby William Godwin, Maurice Hindle (Introduction)
The reputation of WILLIAM GODWIN as a social philosopher, and the merits of his famous novel, "Caleb Williams," have been for more than a century the subject of extreme divergencies of judgment among critics. "The first systematic anarchist," as he is called by Professor Saintsbury, aroused bitter contention with his writings during his own lifetime, and his opponents have remained so prejudiced that even the staid bibliographer Allibone, in his "Dictionary of English Literature," a place where one would think the most flagitious author safe from animosity, speaks of Godwin's private life in terms that are little less than scurrilous. Over against this persistent acrimony may be put the fine eulogy of Mr. C.
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Meet the Author
William Godwin (1756–1836), radical philospher and novelist, was an important figure in the transition from Enlightenment thinking to Romanticism during the early nineteenth century. He married Mary Wollstonecraft, who died shortly after giving birth to their daughter, the novelist Mary Shelley.
Maurice Hindle edited Frankenstein and Dracula for Penguin Classics and teaches at the Open University.
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