Leigh Hunt

James Henry Leigh Hunt (19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859), best known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist and poet.

Hunt co-founded The Examiner, a leading intellectual journal expounding radical principles. He was the centre of the Hampstead-based group that included William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb, known as the 'Hunt circle'. Hunt also introduced John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Browning and Alfred Lord Tennyson to the public.

Hunt's presence at Shelley's funeral on the beach near Viareggio was immortalised in the painting by Louis Édouard Fournier, although in reality Hunt did not stand by the pyre, as portrayed. Hunt was the inspiration for the Harold Skimpole character in Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House.

Leigh Hunt
James Henry Leigh Hunt by Benjamin Robert Haydon
Leigh Hunt; portrait by Benjamin Haydon
James Henry Leigh Hunt

October 19, 1784
Southgate, London, England
DiedAugust 28, 1859 (aged 74)
Putney, London, England
Burial placeKensal Green Cemetery
EducationChrist's Hospitalin London,Newgate Street
Marianne Kent
(m. 1808; died 1857)
Children10, including Thornton Leigh Hunt
RelativesJohn Hunt (brother)
Elizabeth Kent (sister-in-law)


Early life

James Henry Leigh Hunt was born at Southgate, London, where his parents had settled after leaving the United States. His father Isaac, a lawyer from Philadelphia, and his mother, Mary Shewell, a merchant's daughter and a devout Quaker, had been forced to come to Britain because of their loyalist sympathies during the American War of Independence.

Once in England, Issac Hunt became a popular preacher, but was unsuccessful in obtaining a permanent living. He was then employed by James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos, as tutor to his nephew, James Henry Leigh. [1]

Leigh Hunt
Leigh Hunt, engraved by H. Meyer from a drawing by J. Hayter


Leigh Hunt was educated at Christ's Hospital in Horsham, West Sussex from 1791 to 1799, a period that Hunt described in his autobiography. Thomas Barnes was a school friend of his. One of the boarding houses at Christ's Hospital is named after Hunt.

As a boy, Hunt was an admirer of Thomas Gray and William Collins, writing many verses in imitation of them. A speech impediment, later cured, prevented Hunt from going to university. "For some time after I left school," he says, "I did nothing but visit my school-fellows, haunt the book-stalls and write verses."

Hunt's first poems were published in 1801 under the title of Juvenilia, introducing him into British literary and theatrical society. He began to write for the newspapers, and published in 1807 a volume of theatre criticism, and a series of Classic Tales with critical essays on the authors.

Hunt's early essays were published by Edward Quin, editor and owner of The Traveller.[2]


In 1809, Leigh Hunt married Marianne Kent (whose parents were Thomas and Ann). Over the next 20 years, the couple had ten children: Thornton Leigh (1810–73), John Horatio Leigh (1812–46), Mary Florimel Leigh (1813–49), Swinburne Percy Leigh (1816–27), Percy Bysshe Shelley Leigh (1817–99), Henry Sylvan Leigh (1819–76), Vincent Leigh (1823–52), Julia Trelawney Leigh (1826–72), Jacyntha Leigh (1828–1914), and Arabella Leigh (1829–30).[3]

Marianne Hunt, in poor health for most of her life, died on 26 January 1857 at age 69. Leigh Hunt made little mention of his family in his autobiography. Marianne's sister, Elizabeth Kent (Hunt's sister-in-law), became his amanuensis.[4]


The Examiner

In 1808, Hunt left the War Office, where he had been working as a clerk, to become editor of the The Examiner, a newspaper founded by his brother, John Hunt. His brother Robert Hunt contributed to its columns.

Robert Hunt's criticism earned the enmity of William Blake, who described the Examiner's office as containing a "nest of villains".[5] Blake's response also included Leigh Hunt. Hunt had published several vitriolic reviews in 1808 and 1809 and had added Blake's name to a list of so-called "quacks".[6]

The Examiner soon acquired a reputation for unusual political independence; it would attack any worthy target, "from a principle of taste," as John Keats expressed it. In 1813, the Examiner attacked the Prince Regent George. The British government tried the three Hunt brothers and sentenced them to two years in prison. resulted. Leigh Hunt served his term at the Surrey County Gaol.[7]

Leigh Hunt's visitors at Surrey County Gaol included Lord Byron, Thomas Moore,[8] Lord Henry Brougham, and Charles Lamb. The stoicism with which Leigh Hunt bore his imprisonment attracted general attention and sympathy. His imprisonment allowed him many luxuries and access to friends and family, and Lamb described his decorations of the cell as something not found outside a fairy tale. When Jeremy Bentham called on him, he found Hunt playing battledore.[1]

From 1814 to 1817, Leigh Hunt and Hazlitt wrote a series of essays in The Examiner that they titled "The Round Table". These essays were published in two volumes in 1817 in The Round Table. Twelve of the 52 essays were written by Hunt, the rest by Hazlitt.[9]

The Reflector

From 1810 to 1811, Leigh Hunt edited a quarterly magazine, the Reflector, for his brother John. He wrote "The Feast of the Poets" for publication. His work was a satire that offended many contemporary poets, particularly William Gifford.

The Indicator

From 1819 to 1821, Hunt edited The Indicator, a weekly literary periodical published by Joseph Appleyard. Hunt probably wrote much of the content, which included reviews, essays, stories, and poems.[10][11]

The Companion

From January to July 1828, Hunt edited The Companion, a weekly literary periodical published by Hunt and Clarke. The journal dealt with books, theatrical productions and miscellaneous topics.[12]


In 1816, Hunt published the poem Story of Rimini. This work was based on the tragic episode of Francesca da Rimini as told in Dante's Inferno.[13]

Hunt's preference was decidedly for Chaucer's verse style, as adapted to modern English by John Dryden. This was in contrast to the epigrammatic couplet of Alexander Pope . The Story of Rimini is an optimistic narrative which runs contrary to the tragic nature of its subject. Hunt's flippancy and familiarity, often degenerating into the ludicrous, subsequently made him a target for ridicule and parody.

In 1818, Hunt published a collection of poems entitled Foliage, followed in 1819 by Hero and Leander, and Bacchus and Ariadne. In the same year he reprinted The Story of Rimini and The Descent of Liberty with the title of Poetical Works. Hunt also started the Indicator.

Both Keats and Shelley belonged to a literary group that gathered around Hunt at Hampstead. The Hunt Circle also included Hazlitt, Lamb, Bryan Procter, Benjamin Haydon, Charles Cowden Clarke, C.W. Dilke, Walter Coulson and John Hamilton Reynolds. This group was known pejoratively as the Cockney School.[7]

Some of Hunt's most popular poems are "Jenny kiss'd Me", "Abou Ben Adhem" and "A Night-Rain in Summer".

Friendship with Keats and Shelley

Hunt maintained close friendships with both Keats and Shelley. Shelley's financial help saved Hunt from ruin. In return, Hunt provided Shelley with support during his family problems and defended him in the Examiner. Hunt introduced Keats to Shelley and wrote a very generous appreciation of him in the Indicator. Keats seems, however, to have subsequently felt that Hunt's example as a poet had been in some respects detrimental to him.

After Shelley's left for Italy in 1818, Hunt experienced more financial difficulties. In addition, both his health and that of his wife Marianne failed. As a result, Hunt was forced to discontinue the Indicator (1819–1821), having, he says, "almost died over the last numbers."

Trip to Italy

Shelley suggested that Hunt could join him and Byron in Italy to establish a quarterly magazine. The advantage is that they would be able to publish Liberal opinions without repression from the British government. Byron's motive for this proposal was allegedly to acquire more influence over the Examiner with Hunt out of England. However, Byron soon discovered that Hunt was no longer interested in the Examiner.

Leigh Hunt left England for Italy in November 1821, but storm, sickness and misadventure delayed his arrival until 1 July 1822. Thomas Love Peacock compared their voyage to that of the character Ulysses in Homer's Odyssey.

The Funeral of Shelley by Louis Edouard Fournier
The Funeral of Shelley by Louis Édouard Fournier (1889); pictured in the centre are, from left, Trelawny, Hunt, and Byron. (As a matter of fact Hunt was not standing before the fire, he remained in his coach the entire time.)

Several weeks after Hunt arrived in Italy, Shelley died. Hunt was now virtually dependent upon Byron, who was not interested in supporting him and his family. Byron's friends also scorned Hunt. The Liberal lived through four quarterly numbers, containing contributions no less memorable than Byron's "Vision of Judgment" and Shelley's translations from Faust.

In 1823 Byron left Italy for Greece, abandoning the quarterly. Hunt remained in Genoa. Enjoying the Italian climate and culture, Hunt stayed in Italy until 1825. During this period, he created Ultra-Crepidarius: a Satire on William Gifford (1823), and his translation (1825) of Francesco Redi's Bacco in Toscana.

Return to England

In 1825, due to a lawsuit with one of his brothers, Hunt returned to England. In 1828, Hunt published Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries. The work was designed to counter what Hunt perceived as an inaccurate public image of Byron. The public was shocked that Hunt, who had been obliged to Byron for so much, would "bite the hand that fed him". Hunt especially writhed under the withering satire of Moore.

During his later years, Hunt continued to suffer from poverty and sickness. He worked unremittingly, but one effort failed after another. Two journalistic ventures, the Tatler (1830–1832), a daily devoted to literary and dramatic criticism, and London Journal (1834–1835) failed, even though London Journal contained some of his best writing. Hunt's editorship (1837–1838) of the Monthly Repositorywas also unsuccessful.

In 1832 Hunt published by subscription a collected edition of his poems. The subscribers included many of his opponents. Also in 1832, Hunt printed for private circulation Christianism, the work afterwards published (1853) as The Religion of the Heart. A copy sent to Thomas Carlyle secured his friendship, and Hunt went to live next door to him in Cheyne Row in 1833.

Hunt's romance, Sir Ralph Esher, about Charles II's was successful. Captain Sword and Captain Pen, published in 1835, a spirited contrast between the victories of peace and the victories of war, deserves to be ranked among his best poems.[14]

In 1840 Hunt's play Legend of Florence had a successful engagement at Covent Garden, helping him financially. Lover's Amazements, a comedy, was acted several years afterwards, and was printed in Journal (1850–1851); other plays remained in manuscript.

Also in 1840 Hunt wrote introductory notices to the work of Sheridan and to Edward Moxon's edition of the works of William Wycherley, William Congreve, John Vanbrugh and George Farquhar, a work which furnished the occasion of Macaulay's essay on the Dramatists of the Restoration. The narrative poem The Palfrey was published in 1842.

During the 1830's, Hunt also wrote for the Edinburgh Review

Final years

In 1844 Mary Shelley and her son, on succeeding to the family estates, settled an annuity of £120 upon Hunt (Rossetti 1890). In 1847 Lord John Russell set up a pension of £200 for Hunt.

With his finances in better shape, Hunt published the companion books Imagination and Fancy (1844) and Wit and Humour (1846). These were two volumes of selections from English poets, which displayed his refined, discriminating critical tastes. Hunt also published a book on the pastoral poetry of Sicily, A Jar of Honey from Mount Hybla (1848). The Town (2 vols., 1848) and Men, Women and Books (2 vols., 1847) are partly made up from former material. The Old Court Suburb (2 vols., 1855; ed. A Dobson, 2002) is a sketch of Kensington, where Hunt long resided.

In 1850 Hunt published his Autobiography (3 vols.). It has been described as a naive and affected, but accurate, piece of self-portraiture. Hunt published A Book for a Corner (2 vols.) in 1849 and Table Talk appeared in 1851. In 1855, he published his narrative poems, both original and translated, under the title Stories in Verse.

Hunt died in Putney in London on 28 August 1859. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. In September 1966 Christ's Hospital named one of its houses in the memory of Hunt.

In a letter of 25 September 1853, Dickens stated that Hunt had inspired the character of Harold Skimpole in Bleak House; "I suppose he is the most exact portrait that was ever painted in words! ... It is an absolute reproduction of a real man". A contemporary critic commented, "I recognized Skimpole instantaneously; ... and so did every person whom I talked with about it who had ever had Leigh Hunt's acquaintance."[15] G. K. Chesterton suggested that Dickens "May never once have had the unfriendly thought, 'Suppose Hunt behaved like a rascal!'; he may have only had the fanciful thought, 'Suppose a rascal behaved like Hunt!'" (Chesterton 1906).

Other works

  • Amyntas, A Tale of the Woods (1820), a translation of Tasso's Aminta
  • Flora Domestica, Or, The Portable Flower-garden : with Directions for the Treatment of Plants in Pots and Illustrations From the Works of the Poets. London: Taylor and Hessey. 1823., with Elizabeth Kent, published anonymously[16]
  • The Seer, or Common-Places refreshed (2 pts., 1840–1841)
  • three of the Canterbury Tales in The Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer modernized (1841)
  • Stories from the Italian Poets (1846)
  • compilations such as One Hundred Romances of Real Life (1843)
  • selections from Beaumont and Fletcher (1855)
  • with S Adams Lee, The Book of the Sonnet (Boston, 1867).

His Poetical Works (2 vols.), revised by himself and edited by Lee, were printed at Boston in 1857, and an edition (London and New York) by his son, Thornton Hunt, appeared in 1860. Among volumes of selections are Essays (1887), ed. A. Symons; Leigh Hunt as Poet and Essayist (1889), ed. C. Kent; Essays and Poems (1891), ed. R. B. Johnson for the "Temple Library".

Hunt's Autobiography was revised shortly before his death, and edited (1859) by Thornton Hunt, who also arranged his Correspondence (2 vols., 1862). Additional letters were printed by the Cowden Clarkes in their Recollections of Writers (1878). The Autobiography was edited (2 vols., 1903) with full bibliographical note by Roger Ingpen.

A bibliography of Hunt's works was compiled by Alexander Ireland (List of the Writings of William Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt, 1868). There are short lives of Hunt by Cosmo Monkhouse ("Great Writers," 1893) and by RB Johnson (1896). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Volume 28 (2004).


  1. ^ a b Ireland, Alexander (1899). "Hunt, James Henry Leigh" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ Donoghue, David James (1896). "Quin, Edward" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 47. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ "LEIGH HUNT". www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  4. ^ Hay 2008.
  5. ^ Symons, Arthur (1907). William Blake. New York: Dutton. p. 150.
  6. ^ Blake, William; Essick, Robert N.; Viscomi, Joseph (4 September 1998). Milton a poem, and the final illuminated works: The ghost of Abel, On Homers poetry, [and] On Virgil, Laocoön. Princeton University Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-691-00148-7. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  7. ^ a b Roe, Nicholas. "'The Hunt Era': Jeffrey N. Cox, Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt and their Circle and The Examiner, 1818–1822, introduced by Yasuo Deguchi." Romanticism on the Net 14 (May 1999). Accessed 19 December 2006.
  8. ^ See Byron's "To Thomas Moore : Written The Evening Before His Visit To Mr. Leigh Hunt In Horsemonger Lane Gaol, May 19, 1813".
  9. ^ Hazlitt, William. The Complete Works of William Hazlitt (ed. P.P. Howe), vol. 4. London: Dent & Sons, 1910, "Bibliographical Note" and "Advertisement to the Edition of 1817" (unpaginated).
  10. ^ Hayden, John O. (1969). The Romantic Reviewers, 1802–1824. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 263.
  11. ^ Hunt, Leigh (ed.). "The Indicator, 1819–1821" (1–76). London: Joseph Appleyard.
  12. ^ "The Companion" (1–29). London: Hunt and Clarke. 1828.
  13. ^ "The following story is founded on a passage in Dante, the substance of which is contained in the concluding paragraph of the third canto. For the rest of the incidents, generally speaking, the praise or blame remains with myself." (Hunt, "Preface").
  14. ^ Captain Sword and Captain Pen. A poem by Leigh Hunt; With Some Remarks on War and Military Statesmen. London: Charles Knight, Ludgate Street. 1835. Retrieved 8 December 2016 – via Internet Archive.
  15. ^ Page, Norman, editor, Bleak House, Penguin Books, 1971, p. 955 (note 2 to Chapter 6).
  16. ^ Daisy Hay. "Elizabeth Kent's Collaborators". Romanticism Volume 14, Number 3, 2008 pp. 272–281


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hunt, James Henry Leigh" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 934–936.
  • Blainey, Ann. Immortal Boy. 1985.
  • Blunden, Edmund, The Examiner Examined. Cobden-Sanderson, 1928
  • Cox, Jeffrey N., Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt and their Circle. Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0-521-63100-6
  • Eberle-Sinatra, Michael, Leigh Hunt and the London Literary Scene: A Reception History of His Major Works, 1805–1828. Routledge, 2005.
  • Holden, Anthony, The Wit in the Dungeon: The Life of Leigh Hunt. Little, Brown, 2005. ISBN 978-0-316-85927-1
  • Lulofs, Timothy J. and Hans Ostrom, Leigh Hunt: A Reference Guide. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1985. ISBN 978-0-415-31676-7
  • Roe, Nicholas, Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt. Pimlico, 2005. ISBN 978-0-7126-0224-2
  • The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt (3rd Edition) – With an introduction by Edmund Blunden, Oxford University Press "The World's Classics" Series 1928
  • Hay, Daisy (2008). "Elizabeth Kent's Collaborators". Romanticism. 14 (3): 272–281. doi:10.1353/rom.0.0038. Retrieved 22 December 2014.

External links

Bacchus and Ariadne (poem)

Bacchus and Ariadne is a poem by Leigh Hunt written and published in 1819. The result of three years of work, the poem tells the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, two lovers, and the story of their forlorn fate. Hunt began working on the poem during the summer of 1816, arousing the interest of the publisher John Taylor, and despite repeated delays to allow Hunt to deal with other commitments the poem was finished and published in a collection 1819. Hunt later claimed in a poem about Bacchus and Ariadne that he was seeking to humanise myths and make them more understandable to the common people. The collection was well received by contemporary critics and poets, including Thomas Carlyle, while more modern writers such as Edmund Blunden have criticised the flow of its narrative.

Barbara Leigh-Hunt

Barbara Leigh-Hunt (born 14 December 1935) is a British actress. Her numerous theatre credits include Broadway productions of Hamlet (1958) and Sherlock Holmes (1974), and she won the 1993 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for the National Theatre production of An Inspector Calls. Her film appearances include Frenzy (1972), Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972), Bequest to the Nation (1973) and Billy Elliot (2000).

Hero and Leander (1819 poem)

Hero and Leander is a poem by Leigh Hunt written and published in 1819. The result of three years of work, the poem tells the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, two lovers, and the story of their forlorn fate. Hunt began working on the poem during the summer of 1816, arousing the interest of the publisher John Taylor, and despite repeated delays to allow Hunt to deal with other commitments the poem was finished and published in a collection 1819. Dealing with themes of love and its attempt to conquer nature, the poem does not contain the political message that many of Hunt's works around that time do. The collection was well received by contemporary critics, who remarked on its sentiment and delicacy, while more modern writers such as Edmund Blunden have criticised the flow of its narrative.

Juvenilia (poetry collection)

Juvenilia; or, a Collection of Poems Written between the ages of Twelve and Sixteen by J. H. L. Hunt, Late of the Grammar School of Christ's Hospital, commonly known as Juvenilia, was a collection of poems written by James Henry Leigh Hunt at a young age and published in March 1801. As an unknown author, Hunt's work was not accepted by any professional publishers, and his father Isaac Hunt instead entered into an agreement with the printer James Whiting to have the collection printed privately. The collection had over 800 subscribers, including important academics, politicians and lawyers, and even people from the United States. The critical and public response to Hunt's work was positive; by 1803 the collection had run into four volumes. The Monthly Mirror declared the collection to show "proofs of poetic genius, and literary ability", and Edmund Blunden held that the collection acted as a predictor of Hunt's later success. Hunt himself came to despise the collection as "a heap of imitations, all but absolutely worthless", but critics have argued that without this early success to bolster his confidence Hunt's later career could have been far less successful.

Leigh Hunt Glacier

Leigh Hunt Glacier (85°0′S 174°10′E) is a glacier in Antarctica, 7 nautical miles (13 km) long, flowing north-northwest to enter Brandau Glacier just west of Hare Peak. It was named by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1961–62) for A. Leigh Hunt, founder and first chairman of the New Zealand Antarctic Society.

Literary Pocket-Book

The Literary Pocket-Book was a collection of works edited by Leigh Hunt and containing material by Hunt, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, and Bryan Waller Procter. The collection was put together during 1818, and proved so successful that Hunt was able to sell the copyright for £200 a year later. The collection includes written worked, lined pages to write notes on and lists of authors, artists, schools and libraries. It was a public success, bringing new readers to both Shelley and Keats, and served as a model for other collections of poetry written during the Victorian era. Critical reviews were also excellent, with The London Magazine describing it as "for the most part delightfully written", although Keats himself later wrote that the collection was "full of the most sickening stuff you can imagine".

Mabel Leigh Hunt

Mabel Leigh Hunt (November 1, 1892 – September 3, 1971) was an American writer of children's books.

Hunt was born in Coatesville, Indiana, to Quaker parents. She was raised in Greencastle and, from age ten until her physician father died, in Plainfield (a center of Indiana Quaker activity). She and her mother then lived in Indianapolis.

Hunt studied at DePauw University in Greencastle from 1910 to 1912 and returned to school in 1923 for a year at Western Reserve University Library School in Cleveland. From 1926 she was a librarian at the Indianapolis Public Library. Her first book was published in 1934 (Lucinda, A Little Girl of 1860) and in 1938 she left her position to write full-time.She was one of the Newbery Medal runners-up twice, for Have You Seen Tom Thumb? in 1943 and for Better Known as Johnny Appleseed in 1951. Better Known as Johnny Appleseed was also listed by the New York Herald-Tribune as one of the best Western books ever written.Lucinda, A Little Girl of 1860 was based on her own and her mother's experiences. Hunt wrote many other works on Quaker themes, including The Double Birthday Present (1947); a 1959 article on Quaker children and Quaker-related children's books for the periodical You Are Called; Cupola House (1961); and Beggar's Daughter (1963). Her papers include a personal letter from Richard Nixon (who had a Quaker background), written in 1960, a year when he was both vice president and the losing candidate for president.She died September 3, 1971.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley ( (listen) BISH; 4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets, who is regarded by some as among the finest lyric and philosophical poets in the English language, and one of the most influential. A radical in his poetry as well as in his political and social views, Shelley did not see fame during his lifetime, but recognition of his achievements in poetry grew steadily following his death. Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron, John Keats, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Love Peacock, and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Shelley is perhaps best known for classic poems such as "Ozymandias", "Ode to the West Wind", "To a Skylark", "Music, When Soft Voices Die", "The Cloud", and "The Masque of Anarchy". His other major works include a groundbreaking verse drama The Cenci (1819) and long, visionary, philosophical poems such as Queen Mab (later reworked as The Daemon of the World), Alastor, The Revolt of Islam, Adonaïs, Prometheus Unbound (1820)—widely considered to be his masterpiece—Hellas: A Lyrical Drama (1821), and his final, unfinished work, The Triumph of Life (1822).

Shelley's close circle of friends included some of the most important progressive thinkers of the day, including his father-in-law, the philosopher William Godwin, and Leigh Hunt. Though Shelley's poetry and prose output remained steady throughout his life, most publishers and journals declined to publish his work for fear of being arrested for either blasphemy or sedition. Shelley's poetry sometimes had only an underground readership during his day, but his poetic achievements are widely recognized today, and his political and social thought had an impact on the Chartist and other movements in England, and reach down to the present day. Shelley's theories of economics and morality, for example, had a profound influence on Karl Marx; his early—perhaps first—writings on nonviolent resistance influenced Leo Tolstoy, whose writings on the subject in turn influenced Mahatma Gandhi, and through him Martin Luther King Jr. and others practicing nonviolence during the American civil rights movement.

Shelley became a lodestar to the subsequent three or four generations of poets, including important Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets such as Robert Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He was admired by Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy, Bertrand Russell, W. B. Yeats, Upton Sinclair and Isadora Duncan. Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience was apparently influenced by Shelley's writings and theories on non-violence in protest and political action. Shelley's popularity and influence has continued to grow in contemporary poetry circles.

Ronald Leigh-Hunt

Ronald Leigh-Hunt (5 October 1920 – 12 September 2005) was a British film and television actor.His father was a stockbroker and he attended the Italia Conti Academy. He began acting whilst serving in the army. Though never a major star, he appeared in over a hundred television and film productions over a forty-year period, including as King Arthur in The Adventures of Sir Lancelot in the mid-1950s, and General Hospital in the early 1970s.

He appeared in Danger Man and twice in Doctor Who, as Commander Radnor in The Seeds of Death (1969) and as Commander Stevenson in Revenge of the Cybermen (1975); and starred as Colonel Buchan in every episode of the 1960s and 1970s children's TV series Freewheelers. Later he appeared in "You Lose Some, You Win Some", an episode of series 2 of Minder.

His film appearances included The League of Gentlemen (1960), Le Mans (1971) and The Omen (1976).

In his later years he was a familiar sight at the Green Room Club where he was an honorary member.

The Calendar of Nature

The Calendar of Nature is a series of articles by Leigh Hunt about aspects of various months and seasons published throughout 1819 in the Examiner. It is also included in his Literary Pocket-Book and published on its own as The Months. The work places emphasis on the season of autumn as a time for justice and prosperity, and influenced John Keats's poem "To Autumn". The emphasis on both works is on a temperate landscape and the positive political aspects of living in such a place. The work also stresses the sickness that is connected to a temperate landscape, which is related to the physical problems that Keats was suffering from at the time.

The Descent of Liberty

The Descent of Liberty was a masque written by Leigh Hunt in 1814. Held in Horsemonger Lane Prison, Hunt wrote the masque to occupy himself, and it was published in 1815. The masque describes a country that is cursed by an Enchanter and begins with shepherds hearing a sound that heralds change. The Enchanter is defeated by fire coming out of clouds, and the image of Liberty and Peace, along with the Allied nations, figures representing Spring and art, and others appear to take over the land.In the final moments, a new spring comes and the prisoners are released. It is intended to represent Britain in 1814, emphasising freedom and focusing on the common people rather than the aristocracy. Many contemporary reviews from both Hunt's fellow poets and literary magazines were positive, although the British Critic described the work as a "pert and vulgar insolence of a Sunday demagogue, dictating on matters of taste to town apprentices and of politics to their conceited masters".

The Feast of the Poets

The Feast of the Poets is a poem by Leigh Hunt that was originally published in 1811 in the Reflector. It was published in an expanded form in 1814, and revised and expanded throughout his life (see 1811 in poetry, 1814 in poetry). The work describes Hunt's contemporary poets, and either praises or mocks them by allowing only the best to dine with Apollo. The work also provided commentary on William Wordsworth and Romantic poetry. Critics praised or attacked the work on the basis of their sympathies towards Hunt's political views.

The Masque of Anarchy

The Masque of Anarch (or The Mask of Anarchy) is a British political poem written in 1819 (see 1819 in poetry) by Percy Bysshe Shelley following the Peterloo massacre of that year. In his call for freedom, it is perhaps the first modern statement of the principle of nonviolent resistance.

The poem was not published during Shelley's lifetime and did not appear in print until 1832 (see 1832 in poetry), when published by Edward Moxon in London with a preface by Leigh Hunt. Shelley had sent the manuscript in 1819 for publication in The Examiner. Leigh Hunt withheld it from publication because he "thought that the public at large had not become sufficiently discerning to do justice to the sincerity and kind-heartedness of the spirit that walked in this flaming robe of verse." The epigraph on the cover of the first edition is from The Revolt of Islam (1818): "Hope is strong; Justice and Truth their winged child have found."

Use of masque and mask is discussed by Morton Paley; Shelley used mask in the manuscript but the first edition uses masque in the title.

The Nymphs (poem)

The Nymphs was composed by Leigh Hunt and published in Foliage, his 1818 collection of poems. The work describes the spirits of a rural landscape that are connected to Greek mythology. The images serve to discuss aspects of British life along with promoting the freedom of conscience for the British people. The collection as a whole received many attacks by contemporary critics, but later commentators viewed the poem favourably.

The Palace of Pleasure

The Palace of Pleasure is a poem by James Henry Leigh Hunt published in his 1801 collection Juvenilia. Written before he was even sixteen, the work was part of a long tradition of poets imitating Spenser. The Palace of Pleasure is an allegory based on Book II of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene and describes the adventure of Sir Guyon as he is taken by airy sylphs to the palace of the "Fairy Pleasure". According to Hunt the poem "endeavours to correct the vices of the age, by showing the frightful landscape that terminates the alluring path of sinful Pleasure".

The Story of Rimini

The Story of Rimini was a poem composed by Leigh Hunt, published in 1816. The work was based on his reading about Paolo and Francesca in hell. Hunt's version gives a sympathetic portrayal of how the two lovers came together after Francesca was married off to Paolo's brother. The work promotes compassion for all of humanity and the style served to contrast against the traditional 18th century poetic conventions. The work received mixed reviews, with most critics praising the language.

The Weekly True Sun

The Weekly True Sun was a London, pro-Whig, Sunday newspaper that was first published on 10 February 1833 (No. 1) and ceased publication on 29 December 1839 (No. 331). John Ager published and printed the Weekly True Sun and the True Sun.

In 1833–1834, Leigh Hunt, as 'The Townsman', published in the Weekly True Sun a series of nine essays on walking tours in various neighbourhoods of London.From 5 January 1840 (No. 332) to 28 March 1841 (No. 394), the successor to The Weekly True Sun was published under the title The Statesman, or, The Weekly True Sun. From 4 April 1841 (No. 395) to 2 January 1842 (No. 518), the successor to The Statesman, or, The Weekly True Sun was published under the title The British Queen and Statesman.

Thornton Leigh Hunt

Thornton Leigh Hunt (10 September 1810 – 25 June 1873) was the first editor of the British daily broadsheet newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

To Kosciusko

"To Kosciusko" is the name shared by three sonnets written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Leigh Hunt, and John Keats. Coleridge's, the original, was written in December 1794 and published in the 16 December 1794 Morning Chronicle as the fifth of his Sonnets on Eminent Characters series. Hunt and Keats were inspired to follow his poem with their own versions (under the same title) in November 1815 and December 1816, respectively. The sonnets were dedicated to heroism of Tadeusz Kościuszko, leader of the 1794 Polish rebellion against Prussian and Russian control.

Leigh Hunt

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