William Godwin's Diary


The Parian Marble (or Parian Chronicle) is a Greek chronological table recording both historical and what are now understand as mythical events between approximately 1581/0 BC and 264/3 BC. John Selden translated its content published them as part of his study of the Arundel Marbles, Marmora Arundelliana (London, 1628-9). Two fragments were brought to London in 1627 and, as a result of the Civil War, were presented with the Arundel Marbles to Oxford University in 1667. The Chronicle currently resides in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. During 1788-9 there was a debate on the authenticity of the Parian Chronicle. The Revd. Joseph Robertson (1726-1802) published The Parian Chronicle of Arundelian Marbles; with a Dissertation concerning its Antiquity (1788), which questioned whether the Chronicle was genuinely engraved 264 years before the Christian era. It was reviewed in the Analytical Review, 7 (October 1788). The author of the review, Revd. John Hewlett (1762-1844), countered Robertson with A Vindication of the Authenticity of the Parian Chronicle, in answer to a Dissertation on that Subject lately published (1788). In the European Magazine, 16 (July 1789), Robertson responded with Remarks by the Author of the Dissertation on the Parian Chronicle on Mr. [John] Hewlett's Criticisms on that Work and followed up in August with Second Letter of Observations on an Article [by Rev. John Hewlett] in the Analytical Review for June, animadverting on 'Dissertation on the Parian Chronicle.’ The diary shows Godwin apparently knew Hewlett, possibly via Wollstonecraft, but their meetings are only recorded from 1797 onwards.