City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
James Henry Leigh Hunt (19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859), best known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist and poet.
Hunt co-founded The Examiner, a leading intellectual journal expounding radical principles. He was the centre of the Hampstead-based group that included William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb, known as the 'Hunt circle'. Hunt also introduced John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Browning and Alfred Lord Tennyson to the public.
Hunt's presence at Shelley's funeral on the beach near Viareggio was immortalised in the painting by Louis Édouard Fournier, although in reality Hunt did not stand by the pyre, as portrayed. Hunt was the inspiration for the Harold Skimpole character in Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House.