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William Godwin
Born (1756-03-03)3 March 1756
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
Died 7 April 1836(1836-04-07) (aged 80)
London, England
Occupation Journalist, Political philosopher, novelist

William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism, and one of the first modern proponents of philosophical anarchism. Godwin is famous for two books that he published within the space of a year: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, an attack on political institutions, and Things as They Are or The Adventures of Caleb Williams, which attacks aristocratic privilege, but also is virtually the first mystery novel. He was also married to Mary Wollstonecraft, with whom he had two children.

Major works

  • Enquiry concerning Political Justice, and its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness (1793)
  • Things as They Are or The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794)
  • The Enquirer (1797)
  • Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798)
  • St. Leon (1799)
  • Fleetwood (1805)
  • Mandeville (1817)
  • History of the Commonwealth (1824-28)

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