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William Hazlitt's Spirit of the Age

William Hazlitt
replica by William Bewick
NPG 2697

Past display archive
20 May - 2 November 2003

Room 16


William Hazlitt (1778-1830) was the leading journalist, essayist and critic of the early nineteenth century. At the end of 1824 he published The Spirit of the Age, a volume of prose portraits of his most famous contemporaries. Far from celebrating their achievements, Hazlitt unleashed an opinionated attack on the vanity and hypocrisy of his times. This exhibition draws on the Gallery's collection of works on paper to illustrate and consider Hazlitt's critical portrait of the decades following the French Revolution.