The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Godwin (1756-1836), Philosopher and novelist

Author of Political Justice, 1793, Caleb Williams, 1794 and Memoirs of his wife Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, 1798.

'… he was remarkably sedate and solemn, resembling in dress and manner a Dissenting minister rather than the advocate of 'free-thought' in all things … he was short and stout, his clothes loosely and carelessly put on … he had a remarkably large bald head.' (S. C. Hall, Memories of Great Men).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.