William Godwin's Diary


Thomas Paine’sRights of Man was to have been published in February by Joseph Johnson, but Johnson developed cold feet and J. S. Jordan brought out the pamphlet in the middle of March. Earlier copies with Johnson’s imprint do exist (one is held in the Bodleian Library and Godwin notes its appearance on 22 February 1791) and it seems probable that Brand Hollis was in a position to lend Godwin a copy. Holcroft wrote an excited and enthusiastic note to Godwin saying that he had a copy and was sending it along because Godwin had not seen the new Preface – and ended with the exclamation ‘Hey for the New Jerusalem! The millennium! And peace and eternal beatitude be unto the soul of Thomas Paine.’

See Abinger, Dep b. 215.6-04, published in Locke, pp.50-51.