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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
William Godwin to Mary Jane Godwin, 24 May 1811

Contents Vol. I
Ch. I. 1756-1785
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Ch. III. 1788-1792
Ch. IV. 1793
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Ch. VII. 1791-1796
Ch. IX. 1797
Ch. X. 1797
Ch. XI. 1798
Ch. XII. 1799
Ch. XIII. 1800
Contents Vol. II
Ch. I. 1800
Ch. II. 1800
Ch. III. 1800
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Ch. VI. 1804-1806
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Ch. VIII. 1811-1814
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
Ch. X. 1819-1824
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
May 24, 1811.

“——I send Charles’s book agreeably to his desire: I want to win his heart; whether I shall succeed or no I know not. He said he could read with particular satisfaction to himself on the
sea-shore, and I wish him to be indulged. I know from reflection as well as experience, that a book read when it is desired is worth fifty of a book forced on the reader, without regard to seasons and occasions. The very choice of the book is taken out of my hands:
T. T. undertook to procure for him Paine’sAge of Reason:’ this I objected to. It is written in a vein of banter and impudence, and though I do not wish the young man to be the slave of the religion of his country, there are few things I hate more than a young man, with his little bit of knowledge, setting up to turn up his nose, and elevate his eyebrows, and make his sorry joke at everything the wisest and best men England ever produced have treated with veneration. Therefore I preferred a work by Anthony Collins, the friend of Locke, written with sobriety and learning, to the broad grins of Thomas Paine. Do not, I entreat you, grudge 1s. 6d., the price, I am told, of the carriage of this parcel, to the gratifying the inclination of your son in this most important era of his life. . . . . Observe, I totally object to Mary’s reading in Charles’s book. I think it much too early for him, but I have been driven, so far as he is concerned, from the standing of my own judgment by the improper conduct of T. T.”