William Hazlitt


The son of a Unitarian minister, William Hazlitt was born at Maidstone in Kent and educated for the ministry at Hackney College (1793-94). He began as a painter, a profession he abandoned for journalism. Hazlitt lectured at the Russell Institution and Surrey Institution, wrote drama criticism for the Morning Chronicle (1814), and contributed to Leigh Hunt's Examiner and to the London Magazine and New Monthly Magazine. His Shakespeare lectures were much admired and his sketches of contemporary writers in his Spirit of the Age (1825) would prove influential.


1815Review of Sismondi's De la Litterature du Midi d'un l'Europe.
1815The Round Table. No. 16. ["On Milton's Versification."]
1816The Round Table No. 42. ["On the Character of Milton's Eve."]
1817Review of Coleridge's Biographia Literaria.
1818Lecture II. On Chaucer and Spenser.
1818Lecture III. On Shakespeare and Milton.
1824Select British Poets: Edmund Spenser.
1825The Spirit of the Age: William Godwin.
1826Of Persons one would wish to have seen.


An essay on the principles of human action. 1805.
Free thoughts on public affairs: or advice to a patriot. 1806.
Tucker, An abridgment of the Light of nature pursued [ed. Hazlitt]. 1807.
The eloquence of the British senate. 2 vols, 1807.
A reply to the Essay on population by the Rev. T. R. Malthus. 1807.
A new and improved grammar of the English tongue for the use of schools. 1810.
Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft. 3 vols, 1816.
The round table: a collection of essays on literature, men, and manners [with Hunt]. 2 vols, 1817.
Characters of Shakespeare's plays. 1817.
A view of the English stage: or a series of dramatic criticisms. 1818.
Lectures on the English poets. 1818.
A letter to William Gifford, esq. 1819.
Lectures on the English comic writers. 1819.
Political essays, with sketches of public characters. 1819.
Lectures chiefly on the dramatic literature of the age of Elizabeth. 1820.
Table-talk: or original essays. 2 vols, 1821-22.
Liber amoris: or the new Pygmalion. 1823.
Characteristics, in the manner of Rochefoucault's Maxims. 1823.
Sketches of the principal picture galleries in England, with a criticism on Marriage a la mode. 1824.
Select British poets: or new elegant extracts from Chaucer to the present time, with critical remarks. 1824, 1825.
The spirit of the age: or contemporary portraits. 1825.
The plain speaker: opinions on books, men, and things. 2 vols, 1826.
Notes of a journey through France and Italy. 1826.
The life of Napoleon Buonoparte. 4 vols, 1828-30.
Conversations of James Northcote esq. 1830.
Literary remains of the late William Hazlitt, with a notice of his life by his son. 2 vols, 1836.
Sketches and essays, now first collected by his son. 1839.
Criticisms on art, and sketches of the picture galleries of England. 1843-44.
Winterslow: essays and characters written there. 1850.
Memoirs of Hazlitt, with portions of his correspondence. 2 vols, 1867.
The complete works, ed. P. P. Howe. 21 vols, 1930-34.