Philadelphia: Bioren and Madan, 1796. First American Edition. First American edition of Godwin's radical philosophical treatise on political freedom and free will, first published in 1793 in response to Thomas Paine's Rights of Man and the ongoing events of the French Revolution. The work was an immediate success, appearing in numerous periodicals and pirated editions, making Godwin "one of the most dangerous enemies of established society" (Peter H. Marshall, William Godwin (1984), p. 121). ESTC W31889; EVANS 30493; PMM 243. "From the Second London Edition Corrected." Two volumes; 12mos (17.5cm.); recent full brown gilt-ruled calf, red gilt-lettered spine labels; vi,,22-362; viii,400pp. (A6 B4 C-2G6 2H1; [A]4 B-2L6 2M2); complete despite errors in pagination, bound with original half titles. Textblock uniformly browned and very slightly brittle, mid-19th century ownership signature to front free endpapers, else Very Good in a fine new binding. House in recent marbled slipcase, each volume in cloth chemise.