William Howitt, son of a Derbyshire farmer, was a member of a group of Quaker romantic poets that included Charles Lloyd, Bernard Barton, J. H. Wiffen, and Amelia Opie. He was educated with Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen at the Friends' School at Ackworth before being apprenticed to a builder. In 1822 Howitt began publishing poetry with his wife Mary in The Kaleidoscope under the names "Wilfred and Wilfreda Wender." The Howitts operated a chemists' shop in Nottingham (1823-35), afterwards settling in Surrey. They became popular and prolific Victorian writers in prose and verse.
The influence of nature and poetry on national spirit. A poem. 1814.
The forest minstrel and other poems [with Mary Howitt]. 1823.
A poet's thoughts at the interment of Lord Byron. 1824.
The desolation of Eyam, the emigrant: a tale of the American woods; and other poems [with Mary Howitt]. 1827.
Book of the seasons. 1831.
A popular history of priestcraft. 1833; 1834; 1836.
Pantika: or, traditions of the most ancient times. 2 vols, 1835.
Colonization and Christianity. A popular history of the treatment of the natives by the Europeans. 1838.
The boy's country book. 1839.
Visits to remarkable places. 1840; 1842.
Student life of Germany. 1841.
Rural and domestic life in Germany. 1842.
A serious address to the members of the Anti-Slavery Society. 1843.
German experiences: addressed to the English. 1844.
The life and adventures of Jack of the Mill ... a fireside story. 1844.
Homes and haunts of the most eminent British poets. 2 vols, 1847.
The hall and the hamlet; or scenes and characters of country life. 2 vols, 1848.
The year-book of the country. 1850.
Madam Dorrington of the Dene. 2 vols, 1851.
The literature and romance of northern Europe [with Mary Howitt]. 2 vols, 1852.
The boy's adventures in the wilds of Australia. 1854.
Land, labour, and gold: or two years in Victoria. 2 vols, 1855.
Tallengetta, the squatter's home. 3 vols, 1857.
The man of the people. 3 vols, 1860.
The ruined abbeys and castles of Britain [with Mary Howitt]. 1862.
The history of the supernatural in all ages. 2 vols, 1863.
The Wye: its ruined abbeys and castles [with Mary Howitt]. 1863.
Letters on transportation. 1863.
History of Discovery in Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. 2 vols, 1865.
Woodburn Grange. A story of English country life. 3 vols, 1867.
The mad war-planet, and other poems. 1871.