Leigh Hunt wrote his autobiography in 1850 at the age of 64. He was an important and energetic, though frequently impoverished, man of letters. In early life he became the editor of the politically independent Examiner, a journal of literary and social criticism. An attack on the Prince Regent in 1813 saw him imprisoned, where he was visited by several major literary figures, including Charles Lamb and Lord Byron. Later editorial ventures, with The Reflector and The Indicator, were less successful, and he was dependent for much of his life on the support of friends.
How did Hunt deal emotionally with the loss of Percy Shelley?
Hunt was a friend of both John Keats and Percy Bysse Shelley, and introduced them to each other. A close friend of Mary Shelley, he attended the cremation of Shelley’s body at Viareggio in August 1822; in later years his way of coming to terms with the death of Shelley was by a process of ‘dematerializing’ his friend, particularly in the collection of poems Christianism (1832), later republished as The Religion of the Heart (1853), which did much to create the myth of Shelley as a spirit.
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- Stephanie Forward
Dr Stephanie Forward explains the key ideas and influences of Romanticism, and considers their place in the work of writers including Wordsworth, Blake, P B Shelley and Keats.