William Godwin's Diary


Godwin, William Autobiography

There are many occasions when Godwin notes in the diary that he is writing on his own life. It is never pursued in a systematic fashion, he returns to it periodically. Much of this material is published in Novels and Memoirs , vol. 1 from MS. Abinger c. 32, fols. 1-31, 34, 35-6, 41-68, 69, 70-9, and MS. Abinger c. 31, fols. 80-9, 90-110, 115-16. It focuses on Godwin's family, his education and his first career as a dissenting minister and goes on to cover in less detail the early 1790s. However, this code also has been used for MS. Abinger c. 32, fol. 33 containing reflections by Godwin on his life and works, 10 October 1824 (2 Leaves) not included in Novels and Memoirs , vol. 1. The Abinger finding aid in the Bodleian Library states that the manuscripts are variously watermarked 1796, 1798, 1807, 1819, suggesting it may be possible to distinguish the dates that he wrote different sections of his autobiography.