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

Andrew McCann (Dartmouth College)
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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 story would allow, a general view of the modes of domestic and unrecorded despotism by

2254 words

Citation: McCann, Andrew. "Things as They Are, or the Adventures of Caleb Williams". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8276, accessed 05 March 2024.]

8276 Things as They Are, or the Adventures of Caleb Williams 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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