William Godwin: St. Leon: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century (2602 words)

Graham Allen (University College Cork)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error

St. Leon: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century is Godwin’s most popular novel after Caleb Williams. As a follow-up to that seminal text of the revolutionary decade of the 1790s, St. Leon might at first appear somewhat unexpected. The story revolves around Reginald St. Leon and how he comes to acquire the Philosopher’s Stone and the elixir vitae, the legendary arts of, respectively, making gold from common materials and the gift of rejuvenating youth, and, thus, of immortality. The novel, in other words, is far more directly Gothic in its subject matter and indeed in its formal features than Caleb Williams, a novel which had employed Gothic techniques only in order to mount a thorough critique of the …

Allen, Graham. "St. Leon: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 January 2005
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1888, accessed 18 February 2019.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.