Notes to William Godwin (1756-1836)

William Godwin, the radical philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, corresponded from July 1796 to September 1797. In the course of these fourteen months they became lovers and, in March 1797, husband and wife. Even after their marriage Godwin and Wollstonecraft preferred to live independently during the day and communicate by correspondence. Their exchanges form an eloquent record of their relationship, its sympathies and disagreements, assertions and vulnerabilities, intimacies and misunderstandings. Particularly touching are Mary’s last three notes to Godwin, written while she was waiting impatiently for the delivery of her child Mary (‘the animal’) and seeking reassurance from the midwife, Mrs Blenkinsop.

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Autograph

Three single leaves; 120 x 200 mm