Caleb Williams

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WILLIAM GODWIN Caleb Williams William Godwin, the son of a dissenting parson, was a man of remarkable gifts and the father of the poet Shelley's second wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (see Vol. VII). Born at Wisbeach, England, March 3, 1756, he served for five years, 1778-83, as a Nonconformist minister, and then going to London, joined the leading Whig circle of the day, and turned his attention to political writings. His "Political Justice," though little read to-day, had a great number of readers and considerable influence a hundred years ago. "Things as They Are, or the Adventures of Caleb Williams," published in 1794, has a philosophical significance, suggested by the falseness of the common code of morality, which is apt to be overlooked by many readers in the strong interest of the tale. It is one of the few books of that period which may still be said to live.
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April 30, 2013
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