Hazlitt as a romantic essayist

Share via Email "He was the fearless, the eloquent, and disinterested advocate of the rights and liberties of Man, in every cause and in every clime. In the summer ofWilliam Hazlitt lay dying in a small upstairs bedroom at the back of a cheap Soho lodging-house. His first wife Sarah Stoddart, his son William, Charles Lamb and various friends visited him there, as stomach cancer slowly tortured him. Like Wilde in his Paris pension, he was dying as he had lived, beyond his means; to pay for his last lodging on earth he wrote at least two essays during that tormented summer.

Hazlitt as a romantic essayist

Hazlitt as a romantic essayist

A daughter, Margaret, was born in December. He sets out to subvert preconceptions about social and ecclesiastical hierarchies in a sweeping attack on the legitimacy of the Established Church and its clergy.

He argues for a distinctly egalitarian faith which comprehends both men and women, rich and poor. As a Unitarian, he also rejected the Trinityand instead offered a form of religious faith "founded in reason".

He even called on parliament to adopt his form of Unitarianism, revealing the extent to which his religious beliefs had a politically radical edge. Harriet died in June at about eighteen months old. Another daughter, Esther, the last of the seven Hazlitt children, was born a few weeks later, only to die in September.

Their loss was noted to have deeply affected their father.

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He questioned the Biblical basis for praising the Holy Spiritand disputed the value of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of Englandas he had done in his writings from the previous decade.

Despite achieving some success as a writer, Hazlitt was unable to secure a permanent post, and in he returned to England. After failing to obtain a steady income in London, Hazlitt settled with his family at Wem in Shropshire.

After being tossed about from congregation to congregation in the heats of the Unitarian controversy, and squabbles about the American war, he had been relegated to an obscure village, where he was to spend the last thirty years of his life, far from the only converse that he loved, the talk about disputed texts of Scripture, and the cause of civil and religious liberty.English essayist, critic, and biographer.

William Hazlitt was one of the leading prose writers of the Romantic period. Influenced by the concise social commentary in Joseph Addison's eighteenth.


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A passionate polemicist and radical Romantic, William Hazlitt was the most brilliant essayist of his day. But since his death years ago, he has been largely forgotten.

Hazlitt criticizes the corrupt deployments of rhetoric in parliament, schools, and periodicals, and he repurposes the practices of these institutions to develop his politically PROSE DECLAIMERS: BRITISH ROMANTIC ESSAYISTS AND CLASSICAL. Dec 27,  · Whereas Lamb has certainly a more romantic imagination, Hazlitt combines his imagination with a searching intellect.

As Hugh Walker points out, “for wealth of intellect and imagination and for nervous English he [Hazlitt] is the rival of the greatest.”.

Of the triad of English Romantic essayists that includes Charles Lamb, Thomas De Quincey, and William Hazlitt, the direct and vigorous style of the latter is the most congenial to modern ears.

William Hazlitt - Wikipedia