William Godwin manuscript material

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Collection Data

The William Godwin manuscript material in the Pforzheimer Collection consists of writings, correspondence, promissory notes, and various other documents. The writings include: complete holograph manuscript drafts of his works Fleetwood, Coludesley, and Lives of the Necromancers; manuscript drafts of essays from his Enquirer; and proof revisions written in volumes of his Political Justice and St. Leon. The bulk of the correspondence is dated 1795-1834 and mostly discusses Godwin's research, business matters and financial arrangements. Correspondents include: Mary Shelley, novelist (his daughter); Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet (his son-in-law); Aaron Burr, vice president of the United States; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet; and over one hundred others. The promissory notes date from between 1804-1818, and are mostly to neighborhood merchants. Other documents include library call slips, memos of agreement for business deals, and Godwin's last will and testament.
Godwin, William, 1756-1836 (Author)
Acton, John (Addressee)
Arch, John, fl. 1792-1838 (Addressee)
Ash, Dr. Edward (Addressee)
Aspland, Robert, 1782-1845 (Addressee)
Astle, Thomas, 1735-1803 (Addressee)
Ayrton, William, 1777-1858 (Addressee)
Badams, Madame (Addressee)
Barney, Henry (Addressee)
Bartley, George, 1782-1858 (Addressee)
Baxter, William Thomas, 1771-1842 (Addressee)
Beadnell, Mr. (Recordist)
Bentley, Richard, 1794-1871 (Addressee)
Bevan, Mr. (Addressee)
Blackwood, William, 1776-1834 (Addressee)
Blanchard, Laman, 1804-1845 (Addressee)
Blessington, Marguerite, Countess of, 1789-1849 (Addressee)
Booth, David, 1766-1846 (Addressee)
Bowring, John, 1792-1872 (Addressee)
Broglie, Albertine de Staël, duchesse de, 1797-1838 (Addressee)
Broughton, James (Addressee)
Bryant, William, of Sussex (Addressee)
Burney, Charles, 1757-1817 (Addressee)
Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836 (Addressee)
Caunter, Hobart, 1794-1851 (Addressee)
Chalmers, George, 1742-1825 (Addressee)
Clarke, Charles Cowden, 1787-1877 (Addressee)
Colburn, Henry, -1855 (Addressee)
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834 (Addressee)
Collier, H. D. (Addressee)
Collier, John Payne, 1789-1883 (Addressee)
Collier, Mrs. (Addressee)
Cooper, Thomas Abthorpe, 1776-1849 (Addressee)
Curran, Amelia, 1775-1847 (Addressee)
Curran, John Philpot, 1750-1817 (Addressee)
Davis, Mrs. (Addressee)
Dawe, George, 1781-1829 (Addressee)
Dillon, Henry Augustus Dillon-Lee, Viscount, 1777-1832 (Addressee)
Erving, G. W. (Addressee)
Evans, John (Addressee)
Fenwick, John, 1739-1823 (Addressee)
Flather, John (Addressee)
Gaskell, Daniel, 1782-1875 (Addressee)
Gent, Thomas (Addressee)
Gillett, Gabriel (Addressee)
Gisborne, Maria, 1770-1836 (Addressee)
Godwin, Joseph (Addressee)
Godwin, William, 1756-1836 (Author)
Gough, Richard, 1735-1809 (Addressee)
Hamilton, S. (Samuel) (Addressee)
Harwood, William Tooke (Addressee)
Hays, Mary, 1759 or 1760-1843 (Addressee)
Hayward, Richard William, 1778 or 1779-1824 (Addressee)
Hill, Thomas, 1760-1840 (Addressee)
Hoare, Prince, 1755-1834 (Addressee)
Hodgetts, J. C. (Addressee)
Hogg, Thomas Jefferson, 1792-1862 (Addressee)
Holcroft, Thomas, 1803-1852 (Addressee)
Hone, William, 1780-1842 (Addressee)
Hudson, J. C. (John Corrie), 1796-1879 (Addressee)
Inchbald, Mrs., 1753-1821 (Addressee)
Kean, Edmund, 1787-1833 (Addressee)
Kenney, James, 1780-1849 (Addressee)
Kippis, Andrew, 1725-1795 (Addressee)
Longman, Thomas, 1804-1879 (Addressee)
Malthus, T. R. (Thomas Robert), 1766-1834 (Addressee)
Marshall, James (Addressee)
Martin, Marmaduke (Addressee)
Mathews, Charles, 1776-1835 (Addressee)
Merivale, John Herman, 1779-1844 (Addressee)
Montagu, Basil, 1770-1851 (Addressee)
Morier, James Justinian, 1780?-1849 (Addressee)
Moxon, Edward, 1801-1858 (Addressee)
Moxon, William, 1808- (Addressee)
Northcote, James, 1746-1831 (Addressee)
Northmore, Thomas, 1766-1851 (Addressee)
Ogborne, Elizabeth, 1763 or 64-1853 (Addressee)
Ogilvie, James, 1760-1820 (Addressee)
Ollier, Charles, 1788-1859 (Addressee)
Opie, Amelia, 1769-1853 (Addressee)
Parkes, Joseph, 1796-1865 (Addressee)
Payne, John Howard, 1791-1852 (Addressee)
Pickersgill, Henry William, 1782-1875 (Addressee)
Place, Francis, 1771-1854 (Addressee)
Reynolds, Frederic Mansel, -1850 (Addressee)
Richards, Dr. (Addressee)
Richardson of Liverpool (Addressee)
Rickman, Thomas Clio, 1761-1834 (Addressee)
Rodd, Thomas, 1763-1822 (Addressee)
Sharp, Richard, 1759-1835 (Addressee)
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851 (Addressee)
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822 (Addressee)
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 1751-1816 (Addressee)
Shield, William, 1748-1829 (Addressee)
Sothren, Mr. (Addressee)
Talfourd, Thomas Noon, 1795-1854 (Addressee)
Taylor, John, 1750-1826 (Addressee)
Taylor, John, 1757-1832 (Addressee)
Taylor, John, 1781-1864 (Addressee)
Taylor, Richard, 1781-1858 (Addressee)
Tieck, Ludwig, 1773-1853 (Addressee)
Upcott, William, 1779-1845 (Addressee)
Whatley, Dr. (Addressee)
White, James (Addressee)
Whittaker, Mr. (Addressee)
Wilks, Robert, active 1802-1839 (Addressee)
Wilson, Effingham, 1783-1868 (Addressee)
Wilson, Joshua (Addressee)
Wilson, Walter, 1781-1847 (Addressee)
Wollstonecraft, Everina, 1765-1843 (Addressee)
Wood, Mrs. (Addressee)
Wright, Mr. (Addressee)
Archibald Constable Co. (Addressee)
G. and J. Robinson (Paternoster Row, London, England) (Addressee)
Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley (Firm) (Addressee)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1778 - 1836
Library locations
Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle
Shelf locator: Pforz MS
Authors, English -- 18th century -- Correspondence
Authors, English -- 19th century -- Correspondence
English essays -- 18th century -- Manuscripts -- Specimens
English essays -- 19th century -- Manuscripts -- Specimens
Fiction -- 19th century -- Manuscripts -- Specimens
Philosophers -- Great Britain -- 18th century -- Correspondence
Philosophers -- Great Britain -- 19th century -- Correspondence
Biographical/historical: William Godwin, English philosopher and novelist.
Citation/reference: Many of the manuscripts listed in this guide have been included in Shelley and his Circle, 1773-1822, a multi-volume publication that presents selected manuscripts from the Pforzheimer Collection. Shelley and his Circle provides extensive descriptions of the manuscripts, along with commentary, textual analysis, and some facsimile reproductions. Some items in this guide not yet published in Shelley and his Circle will be included in future volumes of that publication. Additionally, at the time of writing only two of the projected six volumes of Pamela Clemit's authotiative edition of Godwin's letters have been published.
Content: Arrangement: This guide considers the William Godwin manuscript material in the Pforzheimer Collection in four series: Series I, Writings; Series II, Correspondence; Series III, Promissory Notes; and Series IV, Documents. Items treated in Shelley and his Circle and Pamela Clemit's The letters of William Godwin (Oxford University Press, 2011-) are noted with reference.
Content: Custodial history: This guide lists and describes the manuscript materials held by the Pforzheimer Collection that were created by William Godwin. The items have been acquired throughout the history of the Collection, and are kept onsite at the New York Public Library. Mr. Pforzheimer purchased his first two Godwin manuscripts before the major establishment of his Shelley collection in 1920. In July of 1918, Pforzheimer bought a copy of Godwin's Faulkener, which carried a tipped-in note to an unknown recipient (G 0057). The sale of Alfred Morrison's autograph collection in 1919 afforded the opportunity to acquire an 1817 letter from Godwin to Shelley (G 0062). Only occasional purchases of Godwin manuscripts occurred through the 20's and 30's, but a few major purchases through rare book dealers in the 40's and 50's led to an accumulation of over two hundred Godwin manuscripts before Pforzheimer's death in 1957. Steady Godwin purchases continued through the next decades under the direction of the Pforzheimer Foundation. During this period, another hundred Godwin manuscripts were acquired, including eleven letters to the writer Mary Hays. Since the Pforzheimer Collection's 1986 move to the New York Public Library, over twenty additional Godwin manuscripts have been accessioned. Because the Pforzheimer Collection collects actively, its holdings in William Godwin manuscript material may grow in the future as items become available for acquisition.
Content: Processing information: Processed by Charles Carter and Timothy Gress, 2022.
Content: Related material: In addition to manuscripts by William Godwin, the Pforzheimer Collection holds some manuscript letters addressed to Godwin, as well as manuscripts by members of his family and friends, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, Mary Hays and many others. A growing number of contemporary and later manuscripts about or relating to Godwin are also held. The Collection is a major repository of Godwin's printed works as well, holding copies of nearly all of Godwin's published works in first and early editions, including many of his exceedingly scarce Juvenile Library works. A considerable number of printed secondary sources are also held, including contemporary reviews of his works, as well as late 19th and early 20th century biographies. Among the Collection's Godwin-related visual materials are a large 1802 mezzotint portrait by G. Dawe after J. Northcote, and an 1832 watercolor portrait by Sophia Gent. Additional William Godwin manuscript material can be found in the following divisions of the New York Public Library: The Manuscripts and Archives Division; and The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature. Complete listings of the holdings of both divisions as of July 2009 are as follows: The Berg Collection holds 8 Godwin manuscript items : Holograph list of his published works; ALS to William Thomas Baxter, 12 May 1817; ALS to David Booth, 14 Oct 1799; ALS to [John Hobart?] 5 Aug 1834; 3 ALS to Sir Henry Ellis, ca. 1804-5; ALS to the Surgeon of London Rupture Society, 23 Feb 1830. The Manuscripts and Archives Division holds 8 Godwin manuscript items: In The Alfred Williams Anthony Autograph Collection, Box 11 ALS to [?], 31 Jul 1809; In Miscellaneous Personal File, Box 138 ALS to Dr. Wolcott, 18 Oct 1803; AL (3rd person) to Mr. Triphook, 24 Nov 1813; ALS to John Howard Payne, 9 Jul 1832; APrN to Mr. B.K. Noddes[?], 26 Jun 1815; ALS to Charles Ollier, 3 Apr 1835; Holograph essay, "Of Riches & Poverty" (part II, essay I from The Enquirer); Holograph essay, "Of the Happiness of Youth" (part I, essay VIII from The Enquirer ).
Physical Description
Extent: 388 items
Type of Resource
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b16574527
MSS Unit ID: 21908
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 9986c800-3069-013b-5237-0242ac110002
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