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JAMES HENRY LEIGH Hunt was the son of a West Indian gentleman, resident in America at the outbreak of the War of Independence, but being a Royalist he fled to England, took orders, and became tutor t: Mr. Leigh, nephew of the Duke ! of Chandos. His son, the subject of this notice,
was educated at Christ's Hospital, with Lumb, Coleridge, and Barnes. He first came into n tice ! as a theatrical and literary critic in the columns of the Examiner newspaper, an orgien started in 1805, by his elder brother John. At the age of 24 Leigh Hunt became joint editor and proprietor of that journal.
Before Liberalism had become tolerated, Hunt had become Liberal, and for calling the Prince Regent "a fat Adonis of 5n," he suffered a fine of £500, and underwent two years' inipris nment, a confineinent which he managed to make tolerable, hiding the prison bars with flowers, and receiving friends from the outer world, among whom were Byron, Shelley, and Kents. The Story of Rimini was written in prison, and published on bis release. It gave him a distinctive place among the poets of the day. In 1818, he started the Indicator, a serial suggested by the Tatler and Spectator, and in the same year issued Foliage. In 1828, he gave to the world Lord Byron and his Contemporaries, a work which caused great offence to Lord Byron's friends. It was the record of a brief and pleasant companionship with the poet.
In the same year followed The Companion, a sequel to the Indicator, both of which appeared as one book in 1834. The year previous he published a collected edition of his poetical works. In 1834 he started the London Journal, editing it for five years. The chief of his essays and criticisms are, Imagination and Fancy," · Wit and Humour,” “Men, Women, and Books," "A Jar of Honey from Mount Hybla,” and “A Book for a Corner.” Some of liis quaint, pleasant, antiquarian sketches are "The Town: its Remarkable Characters and Events," "The Old Court Suburb: or Memorials of Kensington, Regal, Critical, and Anecdotal." “The Legend of Florence," a play, he published when editing the Companion; also two novels, i.e., “ The Palfrey, a Love Story of Old Times," and "Sir Ralph Esher: or Memoirs of a Gentleman of the Court of Charles II." He edited the dramatic works of Wycherley, Farquar, and Congreve, and later those of Sheridan, followed by Stories from the Italian Pvets, with Lives." His latest productions were his " Autobiography," in three volumes (1850), and “The Religion of the Heart, a Manual of Faith and Duty.' He was granted in 1847 a pension of £200 from the Crown. He died in 1858.
L E I G H H U N T.
EDWARD MOXON, DOVER STREET.