James Leigh Hunt

1784-1859

'Write me as one
That loves his fellow men'

 

James Leigh Hunt is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London, England. Also buried here is Thomas Hood.


Gravestone of Leigh Hunt
Photograph by Theresa
 

Hunt was educated - as a charity boy - at Christ's Hospital school in London.

Although a fine poet in his own right Hunt is mainly remembered for publishing poetry by Keats, Byron and Shelley. In 1816 Hunt published Keats' sonnet O Solitude in the Examiner and in 1821 La Belle Dame sans Merci in the Indicator.

Hunt was once held for two years in Horsemonger Lane Gaol for calling the Prince Regent 'a fat Adonis of fifty'. However, he received frequent visits from his friends and continued to edit the magazine in which the libel had appeared.

Some of Hunt's best known poems include: Captain Sword and Captain Pen, Abou Ben Adhem and The Nile.

In 1822 Hunt travelled to Italy to be with Byron and Shelly in order to publish his new journal The Liberal. However, within days of his arrival in Italy Shelley drowned and Byron subsequently lost interest in the project.

Hunt was present at the famous cremation of Percy Bysshe Shelley on the shore of Via Reggio in 1822. Shelley's heart was removed by Edward Trelawny and initially passed to Hunt who later handed it to Mary Shelley. However, Hunt took a piece of Shelley's jawbone from the cremation and kept it on his desk for the rest of his life.

It is said that Dickens based the figure of Skimpole in Bleak House  on Hunt.

See also Cockney School.

Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
Stolen kisses much completer,
Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
Stolen, stolen, be your apples.

From  Songs of Fairies Robbing an Orchard

Read more of Hunt's poetry

 

 


 

 

 
 
 
 

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