William Godwin's Diary

Essay of History and Romance

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This work is mentioned in the diary a total of 7 times.


7  January  1797 8  January  1797 9  January  1797 10  January  1797 12  January  1797 14  January  1797 15  January  1797

Godwin, William Essay of History and Romance

Essay of History and Romance and Essay of Scepticism were first published in Political and Philosophical Writings , vol. 5 from MS. Abinger c. 86, fols. 23-8, 29, 30-3, 34-5. They are annotated: ‘These Essays were written while the Enquirer was in the press, under the impression that the favour of the public might have demanded another volume’.

Godwin's pagination is 225-37 for Essay of History and Romance and 237-46 for Essay on Scepticism , with one essay finishing and the other beginning on the same page ( Index to Literary Manuscripts ). This allows the essays to be dated with some confidence, beginning with 'Essays, p. 225, 226, 227/2' on 7 January 1797 ('The Enquirer' was published on 27 February 1797). However, it is less clear when they finish: Godwin records 'Essays, p. 240-244/2' on 16 January 1797 but the pagination of subsequent days of essay-writing do not follow on. Therefore, 16 January 1797 has been treated as the last day of writing Essay on Scepticism and later references to writing or revising essays have been coded as relating to revisions or other continuations of The Enquirer .