William Godwin's Diary


See dep.c.766.1-03 for an account by Godwin of the founding of the Children’s Library. Godwin contemplated selling half the copyright of the books as a way of raising capital. The firm, Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, whom he approached with the idea, asked him to consider going out of business entirely. Their reasoning was that, were he to do so, they might make an offer for the business as a whole, as they were acting on the part of someone currently out of the country. As an interim measure Godwin sold them the copyright of six of his titles for the sum of £800. The aforementioned out-of-towner did not return as anticipated, Godwin agreed to a surrender of the copyright on a further twelve publications for a further £800. The finalising of the complete transfer was interrupted by Read’s action against Godwin for unpaid rent, which Godwin was wholly unable to meet.