The son of a clergyman, William Godwin was educated at Hoxton academy; he was a dissenting minister before moving to London and taking up a career as a political writer and radical philosopher, sometimes publishing under the pseudonyms "Edwin Baldwin" and Theophilus Marcliffe." Godwin made his reputation with An Inquiry into Political Justice (1793) and the novel Caleb Williams (1794). Godwin also published a four-volume biography of Chaucer and a frank memoir of his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft. Percy Bysshe Shelley, who married their daughter, regarded Godwin as his philosophical mentor.
An account of the seminary that will be opened ... at Epsom. 1783.
A defence of the Rockingham party. 1783.
History of the life of William Pitt. 1783.
The herald of literature. 1784.
Six sermons. 1784.
An enquiry concerning the principles of political justice. 1793, 1796.
The enquirer; reflections on education, manners, and literature. 1797.
Things as they are; or, the Adventures of Caleb Williams. 3 vols, 1794.
Memoirs of the author of A vindication [Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin]. 1798.
St Leon, a tale of the sixteenth century. 4 vols, 1799.
Antonio: a tragedy. 1800.
Thoughts occasioned by Dr. Parr's Spital sermon. 1801.
The life of Geoffrey Chaucer. 2 vols, 1803; 4 vols, 1804.
Fleetwood, or the new man of feeling. 1805.
Faulkener, a tragedy. 1807.
Essay on sepulchres. 1809.
The lives of Edward and John Phillips. 1809.
The letters of Verax, to the Morning Chronicle. 1815.
Of population ... being an answer to Mr. Malthus. 1820.
History of the Commonwealth of England. 4 vols, 1824-28.
Mandeville, a tale of the seventeenth century. 3 vols, 1817.
Letter of advice to a young American. 1818.
Cloudsly, a tale. 1830.
Thoughts on man. 1831.
Deloraine. 3 vols, 1833.
Lives of the necromancers. 1834.
Essays ... never before published. 1873.