When honest young Caleb Williams comes to work as a secretary for Squire Falkland, he soon begins to suspect that his new master is hiding a secret. As he digs deeper into Falkland’s past and finally unearths the horrible truth, the results of his curiosity prove calamitous when—even though Caleb has loyally sworn never to disclose what he has discovered—the Squire enacts a cruel revenge. A tale of gripping suspense and psychological power, William Godwin’s novel creates a searing depiction of the intolerable persecution meted out to a good man in pursuit of justice and equality. Written to expose the political oppression and corrupt hierarchies its author saw in the world around him, Caleb Williams makes a radical call to end the tyrannical misuses of power.
Revised introduction examines Godwin’s background of religious dissent, the literary and political climate of his times, and his belief in “philosophical anarchism”
Includes a chronology, updated further reading, appendices, and notes