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DAMON AND DELIA

BY WILLIAM GODWIN
(Croesor: Zena, 1988, hdbk, introduction by Peter Marshall, pp.13; text pp.182. ISBN 978-09511-06914

Having uncovered the unique copy of this work in the British Library, Peter Marshall wrote the introduction and arranged its publication. Please apply to Peter Marshall at pm@petermarshall.net for a hardback copy of this book, price £10.

Godwin’s first novel, written in 1784, parodies the new man of feeling in a lively and amusing narrative. As might be expected from the future father of philosophical anarchism, the novel is more than a light-hearted treatment of the 18th-century sentimental novel and there is much robust satire. Delia moreover is a girl with a mind of her own and the fiery Sophia asserts that women are not to be controlled.

The contemporary English Review admired the work’s ‘philosophical sensibility’ and recommended it as ‘indisputably superior’ to the common run of novels. It will appeal to all those interested in eighteenth-century fiction and in William Godwin and his circle.