Godwin, William (1756-1836) Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and its Influence on Morals and Happiness. Philadelphia: by Bioren & Madan, 1796. First American edition, two 12mo volumes, bound in matching contemporary tree sheepskin, nicely preserved, with red morocco spine labels, 6 1/2 x 3 3/4 in. (2)
Godwin was a radical anti-authoritarian thinker and philosopher, an early promoter of utilitarianism, and the first modern writer to advance theories of anarchy. He was married to Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and father to Mary Shelley (1797-1851). Of Mary Shelley's upbringing, carried out in the absence of her mother, who died eleven days after her birth, Godwin wrote, "I am anxious that she should be brought up like a philosopher, even like a cynic."
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