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William Godwin

Also Known As: "Edwin Baldwin"
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
Death: April 07, 1836 (80)
London, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John Godwin and Ann Godwin
Husband of Mary Jane Godwin aka Clairmont
Partner of Mary Wollstonecraft
Father of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Claire Clairmont and William Godwin, Jr
Brother of Edward Godwin; John Godwin; Hannah Godwin; Joseph Godwin; Richard Godwin and 3 others

Occupation: journalist, political philosopher and novelist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Godwin

William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was a British journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism, and the first modern proponent of anarchism. Godwin is most famous for two books that he published within the space of a year: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, an attack on political institutions, and Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, which attacks aristocratic privilege, but also is virtually the first mystery novel. Based on the success of both, Godwin featured prominently in the radical circles of London in the 1790s. In the ensuing conservative reaction to British radicalism, Godwin was attacked, in part because of his marriage to the pioneering feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft in 1797 and his candid biography of her after her death; their child, Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) would go on to author Frankenstein and marry the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Godwin wrote prolifically in the genres of novels, history and demography throughout his lifetime. With his second wife, Mary Jane Clairmont, he wrote children's primers on Biblical and classical history, which he published along with such works as Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. Using the pseudonym Edward Baldwin, he wrote a variety of books for children, including a version of Jack and the Beanstalk. He also has had considerable influence on British literature and literary culture.

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William Godwin's Timeline

March 3, 1756
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
August 30, 1797
Age 41
Sussex, England
April 27, 1798
Age 42
Brislington, Somerset, England
March 28, 1803
Age 47
April 7, 1836
Age 80
London, England, United Kingdom
Greater London, England, United Kingdom