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Hazlitt, William

Born: 1778 AD
Died: 1830 AD
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1778 – William Hazlitt, born on the 10th of April in Maidstone, Kent, England. He was an English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, often esteemed the greatest English literary critic after Samuel Johnson.

1783 – He migrated with his family to America.

1786 – 1787 – Returned to England, and settled at Wem in Shropshire, where he ministered to a small congregation.

1793 – He was sent to the Hackney theological college in the hope that he would become a dissenting minister.

1794 – 1802 – He had no inclination, and returned, probably, to Wem, where he led a desultory life, and then decided to become a portrait painter.

1802 – He went to Paris to copy portraits in the Louvre, and spent four happy months in Paris.

1805 – He returned to London he undertook commissions for portraits. but soon found he was not likely to excel in his art; his last portrait, one of Charles Lamb as a Venetian senator (now in the National Portrait Gallery), was executed.

       – He published his first book, An Essay on the Principles of human Action: being an argument in favor of the Natural Disinterestedness of the Human Mind, which had occupied him at intervals for six or seven years.

1806 – 1810 – Other works belonging to this period are: Free Thoughts on Public Affairs; An Abridgment of the Light of Nature Revealed, by Abraham Tucker; The Eloquence of the British Senate (2 vols); A Reply to Maithus, on his Essay on Population; A New and Improved Grammar of the English Tongue.

1812 – Delivered a course of lectures at the Russell Institution on the Rise and Progress of Modern Philosophy.

1818 – 1821 – To this time belong his View of the English Stage, and Lectures on the English Poets, on the English Comic Writers, and on the Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth.

1821 – 1822 – His Table Talk; or Original Essays on Men and Manners, his reputation as a critic and essayist was established.

1823 – His own record of the transaction, published by himself under the title of Liber Amoris, or the New Pygmalion, is an unpleasant but remarkable psychological document.

1825 – 1826 – During the recent agitations of his life he had been writing essays, under the title of The Plain Speaker: opinions on Books, Men and Things. The Spirit of the Age; or Contemporary Portraits, a series of criticisms on the leading intellectual characters of the day, is in point of style perhaps the most splendid and copious of his compositions.

1830 – Owing to the failure of his publishers Hazlitt received no recompense for this laborious work. Pecuniary anxieties and disappointments may have contributed to hasten his death, which took place on the 18th of September in London, England.Owing to the failure of his publishers Hazlitt received no recompense for this laborious work. Pecuniary anxieties and disappointments may have contributed to hasten his death, which took place on the 18th of September in London, England.

1839 – The circumstances of this early intercourse with Coleridge are related with inimitable skill in a paper in his Literary Remains.