William Godwin: Mandeville

(2954 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Mandeville, as its sub-title suggests, is a novel set in the revolutionary period of English history which fascinated Godwin throughout his writing. Despite its status as a meticulously researched and detailed historical novel, however, it can be argued that the main focus of the novel is psychological. In his “Preface” to the single edition published during his lifetime, Godwin alerts the reader to the novel’s connection to Charles Brockden Brown’s Weiland and Joanna Baillie’s play De Monfort, both of which deal with the subject of fraternal jealousy. Mandeville, despite its obvious relations to Caleb Williams, St. Leon and Fleetwood, is in many senses the darkest fiction …

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Allen, Graham. "Mandeville". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3751, accessed 25 September 2016.]