Italian Letters: Or, the History of the Count de St. Julian

Italian Letters: Or, the History of the Count de St. Julian

Italian Letters: Or, the History of the Count de St. Julian

Italian Letters: Or, the History of the Count de St. Julian

Excerpt

After the death of William Godwin in 1836, his reputation suffered a marked and unjustified decline. It had reached its zenith during the last decade of the preceding century through the publication of Political Justice, his two novels Caleb Williams and St. Leon, the informal essays of The Enquirer, his memoir of Mary Wollstonecraft, and his pamphlets Cursory Strictures and Considerations. His inventiveness and productivity continued after 1800 with varied publications in history, biography, and the essay form which maintained his name and, in part, his fame. His contemporaries were amazed at the strange, rather antisocial protagonists of Fleetwood (1805), Mandeville (1817), Cloudesley (1830), and Deloraine (1833). Clearly, Godwin remained a considerable force in the literary culture of the Romantic period. In the twentieth century we have been rediscovering his importance, which the Victorians overlooked in their distaste for tendencies thought to be Jacobinical and anarchistic. Our interest can be seen in recent biographies and specialized studies.

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