WIT IN THE DUNGEON: Life of Leigh Hunt


WIT IN THE DUNGEON: Life of Leigh Hunt

ANTHONY HOLDEN    Book Number: 85442    Product format: Paperback

Leigh Hunt, critic, poet, a complex man who demanded perfection, regularly chastised his sweetheart Marianne because her letters to him were too short, poorly written, full of ink blots and scratchings out. He loved her but wanted her to be like his mother, a literate woman who loved reading. In 1808, Leigh and his brother John collaborated over a new weekly paper they called The Examiner, to concentrate on 'fearless independence' in politics. Controversial, satirical, outspoken and campaigning about government corruption, it became exceedingly popular and it was there a few years later that Hunt threw caution to the winds and began taunting and mocking the Prince Regent, later King George IV. Finally, he overstepped the mark, writing a scathing piece that described him as 'a corpulent gentleman of fifty?a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace...'. Both Leigh and John were accused of libel and jailed in separate prisons for two years (although Leigh's 'cell' consisted of a couple of beautifully decorated rooms, a small garden, and the comfort of having Marianne and his two children staying with him). Friends such as Byron, who dubbed him the 'wit in the dungeon', visited and Leigh continued to write for The Examiner. It's an Entertaining biography of one of the main protagonists in the Romantic movement, who had the gift of fostering friendships with the great novelists and poets of the time yet was dogged all his life by illness and debt. He was a champion of Keats, Shelley and later, Tennyson, Browning and Dickens but largely forgotten except as cruelly satirised by Dickens as Harold Skimpole in Bleak House. Softback. 430pp. B/w illus.
Published price: £12.99
Bibliophile price: £3.50


Additional product information

ISBN 9780349117706
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