William Godwin: Things as They Are, or the Adventures of Caleb Williams

(2256 words)
  • Andrew McCann (Dartmouth College )

Things as They Are, or the Adventures of Caleb Williams appeared in 1794, fifteen months after the publication of Godwin's landmark Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. The preface to the novel, which was omitted from the first edition, articulates its broad continuity with Godwin's critique of government in Political Justice:

It is now known to philosophers, that the spirit and character of government intrudes itself into every rank of society. But this is a truth highly worthy to be communicated to persons whom books of philosophy and science are never likely to reach. Accordingly it was proposed, in the invention of the following work, to comprehend, as far as the progressive nature of a single s…
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McCann, Andrew. "Things as They Are, or the Adventures of Caleb Williams". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8276, accessed 06 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism