18th out of 20 books — 14 voters
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St. Leon; A Tale of the Sixteenth Century
This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1835. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... taste. Ours was a sober and dignified happiness; and its very sobriety served to give it additional voluptuousness. We had each our separate pursuits, whether for the cult...more
Paperback, 298 pages
Published January 14th 2012 by General Books
(first published 1799)
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May 20, 2014 Bill Kerwin rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
How can a book be boring and interesting at the same time? Read William Godwin's "St. Leon" and find out.
"St. Leon" is boring because the narrator, the alchemist St. Leon--who sounds a lot like the political philosopher William Godwin--is humorless, sententious, and given to rumination. Although he speaks regretfully concerning his conduct and its consequences, he lacks self-awareness and the ability to learn from experience, and--although I'd like to give Godwin the benefit of the doubt and ass...more
This is seriously one of my favorite Romantic era novels. Inside the mind of Reginald de St. Leon is downright painful. It's about as anti-Johnson as you can get. Whenever St. Leon acts honorably he seems to suffer for it, and when he has to get himself out of trouble by more underhanded methods.
in 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 pro...moreMore about William Godwin...