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October 17 , 2010

Caleb Williams; Or, Things as They Are (Annotated)


Things as They Are; or The Adventures of Caleb Williams (often abbreviated to Caleb Williams) (1794) by William Godwin is a three-volume book written as a call to end the abuse of power by what Godwin saw as a tyrannical government. Intended as a popularisation of the ideas presented in his 1793 treatise Political Justice Godwin uses Caleb Williams to show how legal and other institutions can and do destroy individuals, even when the people the justice system touches are innocent of any crime. This reality, in Godwin's mind was therefore a description of "things as they are." The original manuscript included a preface that was removed from publication, because its content alarmed booksellers of the time.
Caleb Williams, a poor, self-educated, orphaned young man, and the work’s first-person narrator, is recommended a job on the estate of the wealthy Ferdinando Falkland. Although Falkland is generally a reserved and quiet master, he also has sudden fits of rage. Concerned about his outbursts, Caleb asks Mr Collins, administrator of Falkland's estate, if he knows the cause of Falkland's odd temper.
This edition has been formatted for your reader, with an active table of contents.  This work has also been annotated, with additional information about the work and William Godwin, including an overview, plot summary, reviews, information about the stage version, biographical and bibliographical information.

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