Men, Women and Books: A Selection of Sketches Essays and Critical Memoirs from His Uncollected Prose Writings Part One

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Kessinger Publishing, 2005 M05 1 - 288 pages
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1847. Part One of Two. English poet, critic, and journalist, Hunt was a friend of the eminent literary men of his time, and his home was the gathering place for such notable writers as Hazlitt, Lamb, Keats, and Shelley. With his brother John, Hunt established in 1808 the Examiner, a liberal weekly to which he contributed political articles. Because of an outspoken article casting aspersions on the prince regent, the brothers were imprisoned, but they continued to edit the journal from jail. His literary fame rests chiefly on his miscellaneous light essays, his lyrics and his witty and informative autobiography. A noted dramatic and literary critic, he was one of the first to praise the genius of Shelley and Keats. Contents: Fiction and Matter of Fact; The Inside of an Omnibus; The Day of the Disasters of Carfington Blundell, Esquire; A Visit to the Zoological Gardens; A Novel Party; Beds and Bedrooms; The World of Books; Jack Abbott's Breakfast; On Seeing a Pigeon Make Love; The Month of May; The Giuli Tree; A Few Remarks on the Rare Vice Called Lying; Criticism on Female Beauty; Of Statesmen Who Have Written Verses; and Female Sovereigns of England. Other volumes in this set are ISBN(s): 1417919701.

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About the author (2005)

Leigh Hunt was so prolific that, if his writing were ever collected, it would exceed 100 volumes of mostly unmemorable prose. He was so eccentric and socially visible that even Dickens's caricature of Hunt as the perennially cheerful Harold Skimpole in Bleak House is immediately recognizable. But his philosophy of cheer, however eccentric among such doleful writers of his generation as Coleridge and Byron, appealed to middle-class public taste, which accounts for his immense following. Educated, like Coleridge and Lamb, at Christ's Hospital, Hunt became a journalist, helping his brother John edit the weekly Examiner. As a result of the paper's liberal policy, they were both fined and imprisoned for two years for writing a libelous description of the Prince Regent on his birthday. Hunt turned his prison cell into a salon and enjoyed visits from Jeremy Bentham, Byron, Keats, Lamb, and Hazlitt. After his release, Hunt settled in Hampstead, London, a political martyr and a model of domesticity. His writing includes The Feast of the Poets (1814), a satire of contemporary writers; The Story of Rimini (1816), a saccharine Italianate romance; and Hero and Leander (1819). Young poets such as Keats found the sensual surfaces easy to imitate. But mostly Hunt wrote essays and edited dozens of short-lived magazines and journals, providing an insight into the literary life of London during this period.

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