William Godwin has never previously figured in any of the posts or pages of Psybertron, despite often appearing in conversations arising from the same subjects. (Not to be confused with Mike Godwin of Godwin’s Law – mentioned here several times before. Don’t mention the war, Pike!)
I have his political treatise, in that unread library:-
“Enquiry Concerning Political Justice:
And Its Influence On Morals And Happiness.”
William Godwin (1793)
Obviously right in the middle of that same period – where so many were excited by the political possibilities of the French revolution, including the Germans / Prussians in Jena and thereabouts, before reality dawned just in time to be documented and able to survive obliteration by Napoleon.
Often referred to as the first “anarchist” (in contrast to monarchist) he was more what we would think of as liberal / libertarian or “minarchist” – Government regulation only where necessary, otherwise individual freedom and equality prevail. Aren’t we all?
His name tends to be forgotten because his wife, their daughter and their ongoing entourage became so much more famous. Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and the rest including the connections between the English and German Romantics via Coleridge, Goethe and the post-Kantian philosophers and eventually the Bloomsbury set.
As I say, for now, just a placeholder.