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Encyclopedia > William Hazlitt

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William Hazlitt (10 April 177818 September 1830) was an English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, often esteemed the greatest English literary critic after Samuel Johnson. Indeed, Hazlitt's writings and remarks on Shakespeare's plays and characters are rivaled only by those of Johnson in their depth, insight, originality, and imagination. is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1778 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 (MDCCCXXX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A writer is anyone who creates a written work, although the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... For other uses, see Essay (disambiguation). ... Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... For other persons named Samuel Johnson, see Samuel Johnson (disambiguation). ...


Hazlitt came of Irish Protestant stock, and from a branch of it which moved in the reign of George I from the county of Antrim to Tipperary. His father went to the University of Glasgow (where he was contemporary with Adam Smith), graduated in about 1761, became a Unitarian, joined their ministry, and crossed over to England; being successively pastor at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, at Marshfield in Gloucestershire, and at Maidstone. At Wisbech he married Grace Loftus, daughter of a farmer. Of their many children, only three survived infancy. Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... George I (George Louis; 28 May 1660 – 11 June 1727)[1] was King of Great Britain and Ireland, from 1 August 1714 until his death. ... Statistics Province: Ulster County Town: Antrim Area: 2,844 km² Population (est. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 52. ... Master of Theology (MTh) Dentistry Nursing Affiliations Russell Group Universitas 21 Website http://www. ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ... 1761 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Historic Unitarianism believed in the oneness of God as opposed to traditional Christian belief in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... OS Grid Reference: TF460098 Lat/Lon: Population: 20,200 (2001 Census) Dwellings: 9,145 (2001 Census) Formal status: Town Administration County: Cambridgeshire Region: East of England Nation: England Post Office and Telephone Post town: Wisbech Postcode: PE13, PE14 Dialling Code: 01945 Wisbech (IPA: ) is a market town and inland port... Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs) is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west. ... Gloucestershire (pronounced ; GLOSS-ter-sher) is a county in South West England. ... For other uses, see Maidstone (disambiguation). ...


Childhood

William, the youngest of these, was born in Mitre Lane, Maidstone. From Maidstone the family moved in 1780 to Bandon, Co. Cork; and from Bandon in 1783 to America, where Mr. Hazlitt preached, lectured, and founded the First Unitarian Church at Boston. In 1786-1787 the family returned to England and took up their abode at Wem, in Shropshire. The elder son, John, was now old enough to choose a vocation, and became a miniature-painter. The second child, Peggy, had begun to paint also, amateurishly in oils. William, aged eight – a child out of whose recollection all memories of Bandon and of America (save the taste of barberries) soon faded – took his education at home and at a local school. His father intended him for the Unitarian ministry, and sent him to a seminary in London, Hackney College. He stayed there for only a year, but shortly after returning home, he decided to become a painter, a decision inspired somewhat by his brother's career. He alternated between writer and painter, proving himself proficient in both fields, until finally he decided that the financial and intellectual rewards of painting were outweighed by those of writing and he left it behind as a career. For other uses, see Maidstone (disambiguation). ... 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1783 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Historic Unitarianism believed in the oneness of God as opposed to traditional Christian belief in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). ... 1786 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1787 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Map sources for Wem at grid reference SJ513288 If you are looking for the mall in Edmonton (WEM), see West Edmonton Mall. ... Shropshire (pronounced /, -/), alternatively known as Salop[6] or abbreviated Shrops[7], is a county in the West Midlands of England. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Hackney Community College, Falkirk Street Campus, Hoxton. ...


Adulthood

Plaque in Bouverie Street, London, marking the site of William Hazlitt's house.
Plaque in Bouverie Street, London, marking the site of William Hazlitt's house.

In 1798 Hazlitt was introduced to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. He was also interested in art, and visited his brother John, who was now apprenticed to Sir Joshua Reynolds. He became friendly with Charles and Mary Lamb, and in 1808 he married Sarah Stoddart, who was a friend of Mary's, and brother of John Stoddart, editor of The Times. They lived at Winterslow in Salisbury, but after three years he left her and began a journalistic career, writing for the Morning Chronicle, Edinburgh Review, The Times, etc. He published several volumes of essays, including The Round Table and Characters of Shakespear's Plays, both in 1817. His best-known work is The Spirit of the Age (1825), a collection of portraits of his contemporaries, including Lamb, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Jeremy Bentham, and Sir Walter Scott. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 464 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Plaque in Bouverie Street, London, commemorating the writer William Hazlitt. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 464 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Plaque in Bouverie Street, London, commemorating the writer William Hazlitt. ... Year 1798 (MDCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834) (pronounced ) was an English poet, critic, and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. ... William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads. ... Sir Joshua Reynolds in a self-portrait Colonel Acland and Lord Sydney, The Archers, 1769. ... Charles Lamb (1775-1834) Charles Lamb (10 February 1775 –- 27 December 1834) was an English essayist, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the childrens book Tales from Shakespeare, which he produced along with his sister, Mary Lamb (1764–1847). ... Mary Anne Lamb (December 3, 1764–May 20, 1847), was an English writer, the sister and collaborator of Charles Lamb. ... Year 1808 (MDCCCVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Winterslow is a village with a population of around 2,000 people, located about 6 miles North East of Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, just off the A30 London Road. ... Salisbury Cathedral by Constable. ... The Morning Chronicle, a newspaper in London, England, was founded in 1769 and published under various owners until 1862. ... The Edinburgh Review was one of the most influential British magazines of the 19th century. ... The Times is a national newspaper published daily in the United Kingdom since 1788. ... 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway 1825 (MDCCCXXV) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Lord Byron, English poet Lord Byron (1803), as painted by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, (January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824) was the most widely read English language poet of his day. ... Jeremy Bentham (IPA: or ) (February 15, 1748 O.S. (February 26, 1748 N.S.) – June 6, 1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. ... Raeburns portrait of Sir Walter Scott in 1822. ...


Famous for never losing his revolutionary principles, Hazlitt attacked those he saw as 'apostates' with the most rigour, seeing their move towards conservatism as a personal betrayal. He felt admiration for Edmund Burke as a thinker and writer but deemed him to have lost all common sense when his politics turned more conservative. He admired the poetry of Coleridge and Wordsworth (he continued to quote especially Wordsworth's poetry long after he had broken off friendly contact with either); but he directed some of his most vitriolic attacks against them for having replaced the humanistic and revolutionary ideas of their earlier years with staunch support of the Establishment. His harshest criticism was reserved for the revolutionary-turned-poet-laureate Robert Southey. He had an affair with Sarah Walker, a maid at his lodging house, which caused him to have something of a breakdown and publish all their correspondence in a pamphlet, Liber Amoris. This was seized upon by the right-wing press and was used to destroy his distinguished journalistic career with scandal. Apostasy (from Greek αποστασία, meaning a defection or revolt, from απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of ones religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. ... Ths article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... Edmund Burke (January 12, 1729[1] – July 9, 1797) was an Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher, who served for many years in the British House of Commons as a member of the Whig party. ... Robert Southey, English poet Robert Southey (August 12, 1774 – March 21, 1843) was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called Lake Poets, and Poet Laureate. ...


Hazlitt is credited with having created the denomination Ultracrepidarianism to describe one who gives opinions on matters beyond one's knowledge. Ultracrepidarianism is the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of ones knowledge. ...


Hazlitt put forward radical political thinking which was proto-socialist and well ahead of his time and was a strong supporter of Napoleon Bonaparte, writing a four-volume biography of him. He had his admirers, but was so against the institutions of the time that he became further and further disillusioned and removed from public life. He died in poverty on 18th September 1830 and is buried in St. Anne’s Churchyard, Soho, London. Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subjfuck grapesect to control by the community[1] for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. ... Bonaparte as general Napoleon Bonaparte ( 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur des... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 (MDCCCXXX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Parish of St Anne with St Thomas and St Peter in the Soho section of London is part of the Diocese of London in the Church of England. ... Cast-iron architecture in Greene Street SoHo is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. ...


Posthumous reputation

His works having fallen out of print, Hazlitt underwent a small decline, though in the late 1990s his reputation was reasserted by admirers and his works reprinted. Two biographies then appeared,The Day-Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt's Radical Style by Tom Paulin in 1998 and Quarrel of the Age: the life and times of William Hazlitt by A. C. Grayling in 2000. Thomas Neilson Paulin (born January 25, 1949 in Leeds, England) is a Northern Irish poet and critic well-known for his strong political views. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Anthony Clifford Grayling MA, DPhil (Oxon) FRSA (born 3 April 1949) is a British philosopher and author. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ...


In 2003, following a lengthy appeal, Hazlitt's gravestone was restored in St. Anne's Churchyard, unveiled by Michael Foot [1]. A Hazlitt Society was then inaugurated. Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Michael Mackintosh Foot (born 23 July 1913) is an English politician and writer. ...


One of Soho's fashionable hotels is named after the writer. Hazlitt's hotel located on Frith Street is one of the homes William lived in and still today still retains much of the interior he would have known so well.


Works

  • An Essay on the Principles of Human Action (1805)
  • Lectures on the Literature of the Age of Elizabeth and Characters of Shakespear's Plays (1817)
  • Lectures on the English Poets (1818)
  • Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819)
  • The Spirit of the Age (1825)
  • On The Pleasure of Hating (c.1826)

Quotes

  • The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
  • The essence of poetry is will and passion.
  • Rules and models destroy genius and art.
  • Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
  • The Tory is one who is governed by sense and habit alone. He considers not what is possible, but what is real; he gives might the preference over right. He cries long life to the conqueror, and is ever strong upon the stronger side – the side of corruption and prerogative.
--from Introduction to Political Essays, 1817.
  • Hazlitt writes about Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"I had no notion then that I should ever be able to express my admiration to others in motley imagery or quaint allusion, till the light of his genius shone into my soul, like the sun's rays glittering in the puddles of the road. I was at that time dumb, inarticulate, helpless, like a worm by the way-side, crushed, bleeding lifeless; but now, bursting from the deadly bands that 'bound them,
'With Styx nine times round them,'
"my ideas float on winged words, and as they expand their plumes, catch the golden light of other years. My soul has indeed remained in its original bondage, dark, obscure, with longing infinite and unsatisfied; my heart, shut up in the prison-house of this rude clay, has never found, nor will it ever find, a heart to speak to; but that my understanding also did not remain dumb and brutish, or at length found a language to express itself, I owe to Coleridge."
--from the essay "My First Acquaintance with Poets"
"For if no man can be happy in the free exercise of his reason, no wise man can be happy without it."
--from the essay "On the Periodical Essayists"

Liberty is generally considered a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... For other uses, see Tory (disambiguation). ...

External links

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Hazlitt, William. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05 (264 words)
Hazlitt’s penetrating literary criticism is collected in Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays (1817), Lectures on the English Poets (1818), Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819), Table Talk (1821–22), and The Spirit of the Age (1825), portraits of his contemporaries.
Hazlitt was one of the great masters of the miscellaneous essay, displaying a keen intellect, sensibility, and wide scope of interest and knowledge.
William Carew Hazlitt, 1834–1913, his grandson, was a bibliographer and wrote The Memoirs of William Hazlitt (1867).
William Hazlitt Biography and Summary (333 words)
Born at Maidstone, Kent, on April 10, 1778, William Hazlitt was the son of the Rever...
William Hazlitt is best known to modern readers as the author of essays such as "On Going a Journey" and "Indian Jugglers." The face he presented to his contemporaries was not always as accommodating as that of the speaker in the familiar essays, however...
Hazlitt, William(1778–1830) William Hazlitt, the English essayist, journalist, and critic, began his literary career as a "metaphysician," and the principles of his youthful philosophical writing survived to govern his thought during...
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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