Friday 26 December 2008

“Man only is the common foe of man.” (William Godwin)

Or, as Hobbes put it, after Plautus, "homo homini lupus".

The quote is from the epigraph to William Godwin’s The Adventures of Caleb Williams, one of my favourite English novels of the late eighteenth-century. William Godwin – for those who don’t know him – was Mary Wollstonecraft’s husband and Mary Shelley’s father, a fine novelist and an important anarchist thinker.

I am hoping to reprint some of Godwin's lesser-known works in the next few years. If you haven’t read Caleb Williams, Godwin’s masterpiece, I warmly recommend it – especially if you are a thriller fan, as this novel is considered by many to be the forerunner of the genre.


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