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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
William Godwin to James Marshall, 11 June 1808

Contents Vol. I
Ch. I. 1756-1785
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Ch. III. 1788-1792
Ch. IV. 1793
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Ch. VII. 1791-1796
Ch. IX. 1797
Ch. X. 1797
Ch. XI. 1798
Ch. XII. 1799
Ch. XIII. 1800
Contents Vol. II
Ch. I. 1800
Ch. II. 1800
Ch. III. 1800
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Ch. VI. 1804-1806
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Ch. VIII. 1811-1814
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
Ch. X. 1819-1824
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
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Produced by CATH
June 11, 1808.

“By all means begin with Fox’s men—Grey first, Bedford second, &c.

“If you see them, be eloquent.

Mr William Godwin, a gentleman well known to the public by his various writings, but who in worldly circumstances partakes of the usual fate of authors, has lately digested a plan for providing for himself and family by entering into the business of a bookseller, principally in the mode of supplying books for schools and young persons. He has composed several works in prosecution of this plan under the feigned name of Edward Baldwin, an expedient to which he felt himself obliged to have recourse in consequence of the prejudices which have been industriously circulated against him. These books are so written as to be incapable of occasioning offence to any; as, indeed, Mr Godwin would have held it an ungenerous and dishonourable proceeding to have insinuated obnoxious principles into the minds of young persons under colour of contributing to their general instruction. The books have accordingly been commended in the highest terms in all the reviews, and are now selling in the second and third editions respectively. A commercial concern, however, can only have a gradual success, and requires a capital greater than Mr Godwin can command. He has cheerfully devoted himself to this species of pursuit, that he might secure independence and competence to his family, and nothing can be more promising than the progress the undertaking has already made. But it is feared that it cannot be carried on to that maturity to which, it naturally tends, unless such opulent persons as are impressed with favourable sentiments of the talents and personal character of Mr Godwin will generously contribute to supply him with those means which he does not himself possess.


“Influenced by these considerations, and by the opinion that it is a much truer act of liberality to assist a man we esteem in giving effect to the projects of his industry, than to supply his necessities when such industry is no more, the undernamed gentlemen have respectively engaged to advance for the furtherance of Mr Godwin’s project the following sums:—

Earl of Lauderdale £100 Rt Hon. H. Grattan, £50
Lord Holland, 100 Rt Hon. J. P. Curran, 100
Duke of Devonshire, 50 Hon. J. W. Ward, 50
Earl Cowper, 50 S. Whitbread, Esq., M.P., 50
Earl of Thanet, 50 W. Smith, Esq., M.P., 50
Duke of Bedford, 50 R. Sharp, Esq., M.P., 50
Earl Grey, 50 S. Rogers, Esq., 50
Earl of Rosslyn, 50 Mr J. Johnson, 100
Earl of Selkirk, 50 Sir R. Phillips, 100
Lord Kinnaird, 50 Sir F. Baring, 20