William Godwin's Diary


This occurred during Godwin’s visit to the Midlands – and there are three entries involving 'me'. St Clair suggests that this is an altercation with Mrs Jane Parr (1747-1810), which seems plausible. It is doubtful that 'me' refers uniquely to Mrs Parr and more likely that it is used to refer to his associates' wives (see for example 12 December 1793). Also, the third use on this visit may refer to the wife of Dr Lambe. The DNB suggests that Mrs Parr was an argumentative person. ‘De coenâ dom’ refers either to the ‘at the table of the Lord’ or to the Papal Bull published annually on the day of the Lord’s (or Last) Supper against heresy between 1363 and 1770. Either Godwin uses it ironically to refer to a dispute at dinner, or it was a dispute about heresy or the Lord’s supper.

See DNB and St Clair, p. 150.