William Godwin and the puritan legacy
Weston, R. (2012). William Godwin and the puritan legacy. Nineteenth Century Prose, 39(1&2), 411-42.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6815
This essay’s analysis of Godwin’s engagement with his (and Britain’s) puritan and Dissenting legacy is significant in two respects. First, it offers a reading of two of Godwin’s lesser known, later writings and thus contributes to our appreciation of a thinker whose activity and influence in the nineteenth century is still poorly understood. Second, this topic offers a unique point of entry into the bewildering complex of religious, political and historiographical tensions comprising the intersection of Britain’s long eighteenth and long nineteenth centuries. This pivotal period saw the emergence of a radically reformed British polity, an important element of which addressed long-standing issues of religious profession and allegiance. In this context, it is surely helpful to engage the extensive historical reflections of one of English letters’ most productive and generically versatile practitioners.
San Diego State University
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Nineteenth Century Prose. © 2012 The Author.