William Godwin, Mandeville

Graham Allen (University College Cork)
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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 Godwin ever produced, perhaps, as some critics have argued, reflecting the mood of the author, in the…

2954 words

Citation: Allen, Graham. "Mandeville". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3751, accessed 15 June 2024.]

3751 Mandeville 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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