William Hazlitt

(1778-1830 / Maidstone)

William Hazlitt
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William Hazlitt (10 April 1778 – 18 September 1830) was an English writer, remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, and as an art critic, drama critic, social commentator, and philosopher. He was also a painter. He is now considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. Yet his work is currently little read and mostly out of print. During his lifetime he befriended many people who are now part of the 19th-century literary canon, including Charles and Mary Lamb, Stendhal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Wordsworth.

The family of Hazlitt's father were Irish Protestants who ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''One shining quality lends a lustre to another, or hides some glaring defect.''
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 9, ed. P.P. Howe (1932). Characteristics, no. 162 (first published anonym...
  • ''There is not a more mean, stupid, dastardly, pitiful, selfish, spiteful, envious, ungrateful animal than the Public. It is the greatest of cowards, for it is afraid of itself.''
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. Table Talk, "On Living to One's Self," (1821-1822).
  • ''Envy among other ingredients has a mixture of the love of justice in it. We are more angry at undeserved than at deserved good-fortune.''
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. repr. in Complete Works, vol. 9. Ed. P.P. Howe (1932). Characteristics, no. 19, first published anonymo...
  • ''The English (it must be owned) are rather a foul-mouthed nation.''
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. Table Talk, "On Criticism," (1821-1822).
  • ''An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offence; a vain man, in order that it may.''
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 9, ed. P.P. Howe (1932). Characteristics, no. 387, first published anonym...
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