The Godwinian Novel is a pioneering analysis of the school of fiction inaugurated by William Godwin, and developed in the works of his principal followers, Charles Brockden Brown and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. In the first study of these authors as a historically specific group, Pamela Clemit argues for a greater unity between Godwin's fictional techniques and his radical political philosophy than has been perceived. Her analysis of the works of Brown and Mary Shelley, moreover, reveals how these writers modified, reshaped, and redefined Godwin's distinctive themes and techniques in response to shifting ideological pressures in the post-revolutionary period. Examining prose ficiton in a period traditionally seen as dominated by poetry, Clemit stresses the necessity for a revised view of British Romanticism. Uncovering the links between Godwin's fictional analysis of sujective experience and his progressive political philosophy, The Godwinian Novel paves the way for a reappraisal of the apparently quietistic and introspective concerns of other writers of the period.
Pamela Clemit is Professor of English at Queen Mary University of London and a Supernumerary Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford. Her other books include The Godwinian Novel (1993), also published by Oxford University Press. She has published a dozen or so scholarly and critical editions of William Godwin's and Mary Shelley's writings, including an Oxford World's Classics edition of Caleb Williams (2009) and The Letters of William Godwin, Volume
I: 1778-1797 (2011). She has been a visiting research fellow at the New York Public Library, at All Souls College, Oxford, and at Wadham College, Oxford. In 2016 she was awarded the Keats-Shelley Association of America Distinguished Scholar Award.