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School of English and Drama

Professor Pamela Clemit, MA, MPhil, DPhil (Oxford)

Pamela

Professor of the Humanities

Email: p.clemit@qmul.ac.uk
Website: https://pamelaclemit.wordpress.com/

Profile

I took my undergraduate degree and my M. Phil. at Mansfield College, Oxford, and my D. Phil. at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. My doctoral project, supervised by Marilyn Butler and Paul Hamilton, was on the novels of William Godwin and his followers, Charles Brockden Brown, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Godwin’s daughter), and Edward Lytton Bulwer. I spent twenty-five years at Durham University, where I was successively Lecturer, Reader, and Professor. In 1999-2000 I was a member of the inaugural class of Fellows at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers (directed by Peter Gay). I was awarded a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2007-10), and have held Visiting Fellowships at, among other places, All Souls College, Oxford, and Wadham College, Oxford. I was the recipient of the Keats-Shelley Association of America Distinguished Scholar Award for 2016. I am a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Fellow of the English Association. I arrived at Queen Mary in 2015.

Follow me on Twitter @godwin_lives

Undergraduate Teaching

I have taught on:

ESH 6032: Jane Austen and her Contexts

Postgraduate Teaching

I have taught on:

ESH 7056: Radical Romantics: The Godwins and the Shelleys

Research

Research Interests:

  • English literature of the late 18th and early 19th centuries
  • The Godwin-Shelley family of writers (Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Mary Shelley, and Percy Bysshe Shelley), their associates and heirs
  • The 1790s
  • The literature of English religious nonconformity
  • Letters, journals, and autobiographical writings of the late 18th and early 19th centuries
  • Textual editing and editorial theory
  • The political novel

Recent and On-Going Research

I specialize in British literature of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. My work intersects with the fields of history, philosophy, and politics. My research is mainly devoted to the two generations of writers and intellectuals influenced by the French Revolution in Britain, with a particular focus on the anarchist political philosopher and novelist William Godwin (1756-1836) and his associates. I have produced numerous scholarly and classroom editions of novels, life writing, and other works by Godwin, as well as by Elizabeth Inchbald, Charlotte Smith, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. My principal research project is The Letters of William Godwin, which is being published in six volumes by Oxford University Press. The edition is providing authoritative, fully annotated texts of all known surviving letters from Godwin and a selection of previously unpublished letters to him. Two volumes have been published so far.

I continue to research and publish in other areas of interest. These include the 1790s, the Mary Wollstonecraft diaspora, and the political novel. Another ongoing interest is the letters and journals of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, broadly conceived. I have written on letter writing as a social practice and on scholarly editing as a mode of historical enquiry.

Publications

Books and Scholarly Editions

  • The Letters of William Godwin, Volume II: 1798-1805 (2014), ed. Pamela Clemit, in The Letters of William Godwin, gen. ed. Pamela Clemit, 6 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011-). Pp. vii-xlviii, 1-423.
  • The Letters of William Godwin, Volume I: 1778-1797 (2011), ed. Pamela Clemit, in The Letters of William Godwin, gen. ed. Pamela Clemit, 6 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011-). Pp. vii-lvi, 1-306.
  • The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s, ed. Pamela Clemit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011). Pp. i-xxviii, 1-228.
  • William Godwin, Caleb Williams, ed. Pamela Clemit, World’s Classics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). Pp. vii-xxxiv, 1-362.
  • ‘Life of William Godwin’, Poems, Translations, Uncollected Prose, ed. Pamela Clemit and A. A. Markley, Volume IV of Mary Shelley’s Literary Lives and Other Writings, gen. ed. Nora Crook, 4 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2002). Pp. xiii-xxvii, 1-381.
  • William Godwin, Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman, ed. Pamela Clemit and Gina Luria Walker, Broadview Literary Texts (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2001). Pp. 1-224.
  • Godwin, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume I of Lives of the Great Romantics III: Godwin, Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley by Their Contemporaries, gen. ed. John Mullan, 3 vols. (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1999). Pp. ix-xliv, 1-327.
  • Matilda, Dramas, Reviews & Essays, Prefaces & Notes, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume II of Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley, gen. ed. Nora Crook with Pamela Clemit, 8 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1996). Pp. 1-449.
  • Falkner: A Novel, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume VII of Novels and Selected Works of Mary Shelley, gen. ed. Nora Crook with Pamela Clemit, 8 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1996). Pp. v-xii, 1-301.
  • Elizabeth Inchbald, A Simple Story, ed. Pamela Clemit, Penguin Classics (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1996). Pp. vii-xxix, 1-328.
  • William Godwin, St Leon: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century, ed. Pamela Clemit, World’s Classics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). Pp. vii-xxviii, 1-494.
  • The Godwinian Novel: The Rational Fictions of Godwin, Brockden Brown, Mary Shelley, Oxford English Monograph Series (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993, reprinted, 2001). Pp. 1-254.
  • Educational and Literary Writings, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume V of Political and Philosophical Writings of William Godwin, gen. ed. Mark Philp, 7 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1993). Pp. 1-345.
  • Early Novels, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume II of Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin, gen. ed. Mark Philp, 8 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1992). Pp. vii-xi, 1-367.
  • Things As They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume III of Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin, gen. ed. Mark Philp, 8 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1992). Pp. v-viii, 1-340.
  • St Leon: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume IV of Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin, gen. ed. Mark Philp, 8 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1992). Pp. v-vii, 1-383.
  • Fleetwood; or, The New Man of Feeling, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume V of Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin, gen. ed. Mark Philp, 8 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1992). Pp. v-vii, 1-291.
  • Mandeville: A Tale of the Seventeenth Century, ed. Pamela Clemit, Volume VI of Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin, gen. ed. Mark Philp, 8 vols., Pickering Masters Series (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1992). Pp. v-viii, 1-325.

Selected Book Chapters and Journal Articles

  • ‘Reloading the British Romantic Canon: The Historical Editing of Literary Texts’, in History in the Humanities and Social Sciences, ed. Richard Bourke and Quentin Skinner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2022).
  • ‘Godwin’s Citations, 1783-2005: Highest Renown at the Pinnacle of Disfavour’ (with Avner Offer), in New Approaches to William Godwin: Forms, Fears, Futures, ed. Eliza O’Brien et al. (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), 273-96.
  • ‘Botanical Networking: Four Holograph Letters from Charlotte Smith to James Edward Smith’ (with Brad Scott), Romanticism, 26: 1 (Apr. 2020), 1-12.
  • ‘William Godwin’, in Mary Wollstonecraft in Context, ed. Nancy E. Johnson and Paul Keen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 173-81.
  • ‘The Signal of Regard: William Godwin’s Correspondence Networks’, European Romantic Review, 30: 4 (Aug. 2019), 353-66.
  • ‘Letters and Journals’, in The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism, ed. David Duff (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 418-33.
  • ‘Revisiting William Godwin’, in Oxford Handbooks Online: Literature, gen. ed. Colin Burrow (New York: OUP USA, 2015). Online (Paywall).
  • ‘Commerce of Luminaries: Eight Holograph Letters between William Godwin and Thomas Wedgwood’, in Godwinian Moments: From the Enlightenment to Romanticism, ed. Robert M. Maniquis and Victoria Myers (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2011), 261-82.
  • ‘Godwin’s Political Justice’, in The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s, ed. Pamela Clemit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 86-100.
  • ‘Sociability in Godwin’s Diary: The Case of John King’ (with Jenny McAuley), Bodleian Library Record, 24: 1 (Apr. 2011), 51-6.
  • ‘Readers Respond to Godwin: Romantic Republicanism in Letters’, European Romantic Review, 20: 5 (Dec. 2009), 699-707.
  • ‘William Godwin’s Juvenile Library’, Charles Lamb Bulletin, NS 147 (July 2009), 90-132.
  • ‘“A Society of their Own”: Four Letters from Laura Tighe Galloni d’Istria to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’, La Questione Romantica, NS 1: 1 (June 2009), 95-109. [Also published (2012) as an Electronic Enlightenment born-digital project.]
  • ‘Holding Proteus: William Godwin in his Letters’, in Repossessing the Romantic Past, ed. Heather Glen and Paul Hamilton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006; paperback edn., 2010), 98-115.
  • ‘Charlotte Smith to William and Mary Jane Godwin: Five Holograph Letters’, Keats-Shelley Journal, 55 (2006), 29-40.
  • ‘Self-analysis as Social Critique: The Autobiographical Writings of Godwin and Rousseau’, Romanticism, 11: 2 (Autumn 2005), 161-80.
  • ‘From The Fields of Fancy to Matilda: Mary Shelley’s Changing Conception of her Novella’, in Romanticism: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, ed. Michael O’Neill and Mark Sandy, 4 vols. (London: Routledge, 2005), iii. 221-37; and in Romanticism, 3: 2 (1997), 152-69. A shorter version was published in Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in her Times, ed. Betty T. Bennett and Stuart Curran (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000; paperback edn., 2003), 64-75.
  • ‘William Godwin and James Watt’s Copying Machine: Wet-Transfer Copies in the Abinger Papers’, Bodleian Library Record, 18: 5 (Apr. 2005), 532-60.
  • ‘Godwin, Women, and “The Collision of Mind with Mind”’, Wordsworth Circle, 35: 2 (Spring 2004), 72-6.
  • ‘William Godwin’s Papers in the Abinger Deposit: An Unmapped Country’, Bodleian Library Record, 18: 3 (Apr. 2004), 253-63.
  • Frankenstein and Matilda: The Legacies of Godwin and Wollstonecraft’, in The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley, ed. Esther Schor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 26-44.
  • ‘Two Pamphlets on the Regency Crisis by William Godwin’, Enlightenment and Dissent, 20 (2001), 185-248.
  • ‘Two New Pamphlets by William Godwin: A Case of Computer-Assisted Authorship Attribution’ (with David Woolls), Studies in Bibliography, 54 (2001), 265-84.
  • ‘Philosophical Anarchism in the Schoolroom: William Godwin’s Juvenile Library, 1805-25’, Biblion: The Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 9:1/2 (Fall 2000/Spring 2001), 44-70.

See also my Queen Mary publications profile

Supervision

I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of my areas of research, broadly conceived.

I have supervised or co-supervised to successful completion a number of PhD projects at QM and other institutions. These include:

  • Ruby Tuke, ‘Gifts, Gratitude, Charity: Representing Indebtedness 1790-1834’ (Queen Mary University of London, 2021).
  • John-Erik Hansson, ‘To Teach Every Principle of the Infidels and Republicans? William Godwin through his Children’s Books’ (European University Institute, 2018).
  • Jenny McAuley, ‘Representations of Gothic Abbey Architecture in the Works of Four Romantic-period Authors: Radcliffe, Wordsworth, Scott, Byron’ (Durham University, 2007).
  • David O’Shaughnessy, ‘Theatrical Discourse in the Writings of William Godwin, 1790-1807’ (University of Oxford, 2007).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Engagement

  • Digitizing Godwin’s Manuscripts: in 2017 I led to successful completion a collaborative project, supported by the QMUL Humanities and Social Sciences Collaboration Fund, to digitize and make publicly available the sole surviving manuscripts of Political Justice and Caleb Williams. For this, I established a three-way collaboration between Queen Mary University of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum (where the manuscripts are held), and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. Images of the manuscripts are available to view on The Shelley-Godwin Archive, a digital resource which is reuniting online the handwritten legacy of the Godwin/Shelley family. The publication was launched at an event at the V&A on 11 Dec. 2017, chaired by Tristram Hunt, which included short presentations by representatives of each of the three collaborating institutions. The texts of the presentations may be found on my personal website.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: since 2016 I have been engaged in a collaborative project with the ODNB to bring new information about Godwin and people in his correspondence networks to a wider readership, redefining our sense of the national narrative. Between 2016 and 2020 I published (with Jenny McAuley) nine new and replacement entries on figures brought to light by my scholarly annotations in Volumes I and II of The Letters of William Godwin. Further collaborative work with the ODNB will be scheduled as more volumes in my edition are published.
  • Literary Journalism: I am a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement and a contributor to Tom Hodgkinson’s Idler

To find out more about my research, outreach projects, and journalism, check out my personal website, or follow me on Twitter (@Godwin_lives).