1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leigh Hunt

Anonymous, "The Poetical Works of Mr. Leigh Hunt" The Athenaeum (18 February 1832) 114.



There are circumstances which of themselves for little deviations from established forms; and we are sure we shall stand excused for going out of our ordinary course to announce this work. Mr. Leigh Hunt, a labourer in the fields of literature, who has toiled on cheerfully and with good heart and hope, under all the changing influences of a quarter of a century, is now, in "the sere and yellow" time of life, struggling against great difficulties, with failing health, and a numerous family dependent on his exertions. This fact having become known, some friends have kindly taken upon themselves to propose the publication of his Poetical Works by subscription, and thus endeavour to anticipate many more anxious months and many another illness — in a word, to put him in advance of his difficulties.

It is the anxious wish of those who differ or agree with Mr. Hunt in opinion, that minor circumstances should on this occasion be forgotten, and that all should unite as in a common cause to testify respect for genius; and whatever may be the issue of this appeal, it must ever be to Mr. Hunt a pleasant and consolatory recollection, that the honoured of all parties have given to it the sanction of their name, as will be seen by the following note which accompanies the prospectus:—

Several of the friends or literature, having been made acquainted with the pressing difficulties under which a man of genius is unhappily sinking, are anxious to unite in one common purpose of justice and benevolence towards him, that they may testify their respect for intellectual exertion, and rescue the cause of letters from an unworthy reproach. They approve of the annexed plan, proposed with a view to a general subscription. They invite every friend of genius in the community to join with them in promoting its success; so as to secure, by their united exertions, a solid testimony to Mr. LEIGH HUNT, of their desire to see a man of letters of his standing and reputation, not only rescued from the immediate danger of necessity, but put in possession of such it security of means, as would no longer leave him to the chance of repeated illnesses, and all the anxieties they produce, in a man of sensibility and a father.

Dover — F. Leveson Gower — Vassall Holland — Mulgrave — John Russell — John Edward Swinburne — Edward Lytton Bulwer — John H. Hawkins — Thomas Babington Macaulay — Richard L. Sheil — Thornas Barnes — John Bowring — Thomas Campbell — Samuel Taylor Coleridge — Walter Coulson — Allan Cunningham — Charles Wentworth Dilke — William Godwin — Joseph Hine — James Hogg, — Thomas Hood — I. D'Israeli — Joseph Jekyll — William Jerdan — James Sheridan Knowles — Charles Lamb — Walter Savage Landor — Henry Luttrell — Fredcrick Marryatt — Thomas Pringle — Bryan Waller Proctor — Leitch Ritchie — Samuel Rogers — Thomas Roscoe — Horatio Smith — Robert Southey — Sharon Turner — William Wordsworth.

The works are to be selected by Mr. Hunt (with corrections and emendations), accompanied by notes and a preface, and printed in one handsome volume, price one guinea; and, to add to the value, it will contain an original poem, the first, of any length, that he has written for many years.

The names of those, who are disposed to assist the present undertaking, will be received by Mr. Edward Moxon, 64, New Bond Street, Mr. Charles Tilt, 86, Fleet Street, and Mr. Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange.