GODWIN, William. Thoughts on Man. London: Effingham Wilson. 1831.
8vo., original publisher's brown paper-covered boards, re-backed in later green cloth, original paper label laid on, new endpapers supplied; all edges untrimmed; pp. [ii], [iii], iv-vi, [iii], 2-471, [v]; all corners with some creasing and bumps; the spine label rubbed with vertical crease and cloth to head and foot a touch rubbed; internally rather clean, aside from some light fingermarks and sporadic foxing; uncommon in the original boards.
William Godwin was the husband of Mary Wollstonecraft, and father of Mary Shelley, and is perhaps one of the few literary men of the Eighteenth Century to have been overshadowed by his female relations. A journalist, political philosopher and novelist, he is considered one of the first exponents of Utilitarianism and the first modern proponent of Anarchism. This, his final philosophical work, assumes the familiar Classical character of reflexive essays by the likes of Seneca, Marcus Aurelius or Bacon. Godwin himself considered it, "The fruits of my meditations". It includes a series of varied chapters on subjects including Body and Mind, Human Innocence, Phrenology and the Material Universe.