The Spirit of Controversy and Other Essays

ISBN : 9780199591954

William Hazlitt; Jon Mee and James Grande
400 ページ
129 x 196 mm
Oxford World's Classics
  • Brilliant insights into the literature of romanticism and many of its key concepts
  • Uses first editions of Hazlitt's essays, including original versions of some of his most famous essays as they appeared in the press
  • Ranges beyond literary criticism to Hazlitt's writing on painting, politics, theatre, and metropolitan life

New to this Edition:

  • Updates Jon Cook's earlier collection of Hazlitt's prose, but focuses only on his essays and gives emphasis to their place within contemporary print culture.

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) is among the most brilliant critics and essayists to have ever written in the English language. Combative and insightful, he was close to two generations of romantic poets. His early friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth as a young man inspired him to a literary career, but he became disillusioned with them as apostates from the cause of liberty he associated with the French Revolution. As a mature writer, he inspired John Keats and contributed to his thinking about imagination and poetic character. A forceful commentator on contemporary London, he was also a committed radical, whose 'What is the People?' is an almost visionary statement of a new democratic politics.
The Spirit of Controversy collects together Hazlitt's most coruscating and influential essays, using versions as they first appeared, including those that originally found their way into print in the cut and thrust of the newspapers and magazines of his day.


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of William Hazlitt
1:Reply to Malthus
2:Fragments on Art
3:Mr Kean's Shylock
4:On Imitation
5:On Gusto
6:On the Elgin Marbles
7:Mrs Siddons
8:Mr Kemble's King John
12:Character of Mr Burke
13:On Court Influence
14:On Fashion
15:Minor Theatres
16:On the Pleasure of Painting
17:Character of Cobbett
18:The Indian Jugglers
19:On a Landscape by Nicholas Poussin
20:The Fight
21:On Familiar Style
22:On the Spirit of Monarchy
23:My First Acquaintance with Poets
24:On Londoners and Country People
25:Jeremy Bentham
26:Lord Byron
27:William Godwin
28:Mr Wordsworth
29:On the Pleasure of Hating
30:Our National Theatres
31:The Spirit of Controversy
32:The Free Admission
33:The Letter-Bell
Explanatory Notes


William Hazlitt
Edited by Jon Mee, University of York, and James Grande, King's College London
Jon Mee is Professor of Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York. He was previously Professor of Literature at the Universities of Warwick and Oxford, and Margaret Candfield Fellow in English Literature at University College, Oxford. He has worked at the Australian National University and held visiting professorships at ANU, the University of Chicago and the H. E. Huntington Library
James Grande is Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture at King's College London. He was previously a research assistant on the Leverhulme-funded Godwin Diary Project at Oxford, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at KCL, and a postdoctoral research fellow on the ERC project 'Music in London, 1800-1851'. He is a trustee of Keats-Shelley House in Rome and editor of the Keats-Shelley Review.