Read St. Leon by William Godwin Free Online
Book Title: St. Leon|
The author of the book: William Godwin
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 636 KB
Edition: Dog's Tail Books
Date of issue: March 13th 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books St. Leon:Set in Europe during the Protestant Reformation, 'St. Leon' relates the travails of an impoverished French aristocrat, Count Reginald de St. Leon, who obtains the philosopher's stone and the elixir of immortality, elixir vitae, from a mysterious stranger named Francesco Zampieri. In this philosophical fable, endless riches and immortal life prove to be curses rather than gifts and transform St. Leon into an outcast. St. Leon becomes an alchemist who can create gold and who possesses immortal life. As a result, his son Charles rejects him, he is separated from his daughters, and his wife Marguerite de Damville becomes impoverished and dies. He is the target of German authorities and the Spanish Inquisition. He also encounters a Hungarian misanthrope named Bethlem Gabor. William Godwin's second Gothic novel explores the predicament of a would-be philanthropist whose attempts to benefit humanity are frustrated by superstition and ignorance.
The novel explores the themes of immortality, the domestic affections, and alchemy. The novel is a radical experiment in fictional genres. Into a historical novel of vast range and violence Godwin melded elements of the domestic novel, the philosophical novel, and the scientific fantasy. More relentlessly than the earlier 'Caleb Williams', this novel tests Godwin's philosophical premises to destruction, showing the importance—and failure—of family affections and the disintegration of effective social responsibility.
Please note that this is NOT a facsimile but a modern edition of this great novel.
Read information about the authorin 1756, William Godwin was born in England, the son and grandson of strait-laced Calvinist ministers. Strictly-raised Godwin followed in paternal footsteps, becoming a minister by age 22. His reading of atheist d'Holbach and others caused him to lose both his belief in the doctrine of eternal damnation, and his ministerial position. Through further reading, Godwin gradually became godless. He promoted anarchism (but not anarchy). His Political Justice and The Enquirer (1793) argued for morality without religion, causing a scandal. He followed that philosophical book with a trail-blazing fictional adventure-detective story, Caleb Williams (1794), to introduce readers to his ideas in a popular format. Godwin, a leading thinker and author ranking in his day close to Thomas Paine, was enormously influential among famous peers.
He and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, secretly married in 1797. She died tragically after giving birth to daughter Mary in 1797. Godwin's loving but candid biography of his wife, Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798), further scandalized society. Godwin, caring not only for the baby Mary, but her half-sister Fanny, remarried. He and his second wife opened a bookshop for children. Godwin, out of necessity, became a proficient author of children's books, employing a pseudonym due to his notoriety. His daughter Mary, at 16, famously ran off with poet Percy Shelley, whose Necessity of Atheism was influenced by Godwin. Mary's novel Frankenstein also paid homage to her father's views. Godwin's life was marked by poverty and further domestic tragedies. Godwin's prized manuscript attacked the Christian religion and was intended to free the mind from slavery. The Genius of Christianity Unveiled: in a Series of Essays was published only many years after his death. D. 1836.
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