The Politics of Truth and Deception: Charlotte Smith and the French Revolution

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Book Chapter

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William Godwin, in "An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice" (1793) shares the radical vision of political philosophers such as Condorcet, who, directly involved in the French Revolution (and victim of its shifting political winds), prophesies in his “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind” (1793) that the principles and practice of “liberty, knowledge, and reason” will eventually spread throughout the world as a result of the revolution in ideas taking place in France and sweeping across Europe.

In her five French Revolutionary novels, Charlotte Smith reveals herself to be the philosophical companion of Godwin and Condorcet.


ISBN 9780791449691 (ebook); 9780791449707 (pbk.)