Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
A Blupete Biography Page

Introduction, Part 1 to the Life & Works of
Leigh Hunt

William Michael Rossetti:
"Leigh Hunt is known to us all a fresh and airy essayist, a fresh and airy poet, a liberal thinker in the morals both of society and of politics (hardly a politician in the stricter sense of the term), a charming, companion, a too-constant cracker of genial jacosities and of puns."1
Together with his elder brother, John, Leigh Hunt established one of the most famous newspapers of the time, the Examiner. The Examiner, a Sunday paper, was one in which Leigh Hunt was given to express his liberal views. Such expressions of liberalism were to get the Hunts into trouble with the government of the day, which was more interested in prosecuting the war against Napoleon than with civil liberties at home. The Hunts were tried and found guilty "for a libel on the prince regent"; both of the Hunt brothers were imprisoned for two year terms, 1813-15. Thus, the Hunts were martyrs to the new age of reform; but, as for Leigh Hunt, he is more to be remembered as a literary figure -- if not for his own writing, then for his connections. It was through the Examiner that he introduced to the world: Keats and Shelley. In 1822, Hunt left England to be with his literary friends: Shelley and Byron who were then in Italy. No sooner did he arrive, when, then, Shelley was to tragically die in a boating accident. In 1825 -- the government having taken the pressure off of those who expressed views contrary to it -- Hunt returned to England to carry on for the balance of his life with his literary pursuits.



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