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William Godwin

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Philosopher and novelist, Godwin was arguably the most famous English writer of the revolutionary period and the leading radical spokesman. In the Enquiry concerning Political Justice (1793) he detailed his optimistic belief that human reason was a means to dispense with authoritarian laws and institutions. Despite having argued against the need for marriage, he married the feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft in 1797 when she was pregnant with their daughter, the future Mary Shelley.

National Portrait Gallery, London

London


Date

1802

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 74.9 x W 62.2 cm

Accession number

1236

Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Jane, Lady Shelley, 1899. On long-term loan to Dove Cottage & Wordsworth Museum, Cumbria

Work type

Painting


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Normally on display at

National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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