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William Hazlitt (1778-1830), Essayist, journalist and critic

Sitter in 4 portraits
Artist of 1 portrait
Political journalist and critic, Hazlitt became the radical conscience of Romanticism. He trained firstly for the Dissenting ministry and then as a portrait painter before a meeting with Coleridge and Wordsworth inspired him to become a writer. He wrote with equal vitality and insight on theatre, boxing, politics, poetry and travel. His major publications include The Character of Shakespeare's Plays (1817), Political Essays (1819) and The Spirit of the Age (1825). He was (unhappily) married twice, suffered unrequited love for a servant girl, and died in poverty while labouring over an immense biography of his hero Napoleon.