William Godwin's Diary

Character of Ritson

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This work is mentioned in the diary a total of 1 time.


26  October  1803

Godwin, William Character of Ritson (November  1803) Monthly Magazine

The antiquary Joseph Ritson died on 23 September 1803 and Godwin wrote four and a half pages on his life on 26 October. The piece was first published in the Monthly Magazine that November, republished in the Monthly Mirror for May 1805 and was later included in Marken and Pollin eds, Uncollected Writings .

Godwin praises his friend's antiquarian research, regrets that Ritson presented his discoveries in a 'harsh, rugged, and barren' style, describes the 'rudeness, bitterness, and insult' that characterised his part in controversies, praises his character and describes his peculiar diet ('a potatoe, a biscuit, or an egg, generally constituted his whole support during the day, and his beverage was either lemonade or tea') and his attachment 'to the principles of republicanism'.