University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > The corner house with Aesop over the door: William Godwin's 'Juvenile Library'

The corner house with Aesop over the door: William Godwin's 'Juvenile Library'

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William Godwin (1756-1836) is known as many things: social philosopher and political radical; novelist, playwright and journalist; husband of Mary Wollstonecraft and father of Mary Shelley; mentor to Percy Shelley, Wordsworth and Southey. What is less well known is his career as an author, and publisher, of books for children. Yet his ‘Juvenile Library’, opened in 1805, produced some of the most important and successful children’s books of the period, some still in print today. And his own books for children, when taken together, represent a systematic attempt to re-fashion the literature available for children in the early nineteenth century. Based on his personal correspondence and his diary, as well as the books themselves, this paper explores the success, failure, and day-to-day operation of Godwin’s Juvenile Library.

Matthew Grenby is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies and Director of Research in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University. He is Editor of Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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