Mary Shelley’s father, William Godwin, was born on March 3rd, 1756, in England. He was raised in a middle-class family and attended Hoxton Academy, where he was instructed by Andrew Kippis, a biographer, and Dr Abraham Rees, a renowned scholar (Ree’s Cyclopedia). After his studies, Godwin acted as a minister in three different towns. In 1782, Godwin came to London, for his desires were to become an author and eventually change society.

Godwin, under an anonymous name, published his first work in 1783. He published under his own name a year later, in 1784. Godwin’s convictions reflected a lot in his writings, as his goal was to oust political, social, and religious establishments. He was a philosophic radical.

Godwin also felt a strong love for his daughter Mary. They were both deeply connected to each other. He gave her a higher scholarly affair than most ladies of her period, as he believed she had the necessary skills. He wished to give his girl a more “manly training” and arranged her to be an author. This connection can be seen in Shelley’s first two novels, Frankenstein and Mathilda, as she considers the role of a father in a child’s education and his influence on a child’s future.

William Godwin died on April 7th, 1836. His daughter was by his side and reassured him until he past away.  

 

Christophe Caron

Sources used:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Godwin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Godwin#Relationship_with_Mary_Shelley

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Rees

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Fawcett

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