Leigh Hunt

James Henry Leigh Hunt (19 October 1784  28 August 1859), best known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist and poet.

Leigh Hunt
Leigh Hunt; portrait by Benjamin Haydon
Born
James Henry Leigh Hunt

(1784-10-19)19 October 1784
Southgate, London, England
Died28 August 1859(1859-08-28) (aged 74)
Putney, London, England
Burial placeKensal Green Cemetery
NationalityBritish
EducationChrist's Hospital, Newgate Street, London
Spouse(s)
Marianne Kent
(m. 1808; died 1857)
Children10, including Thornton Leigh Hunt
RelativesJohn Hunt (brother)
Elizabeth Kent (sister-in-law)

Hunt co-founded The Examiner, a leading intellectual journal expounding radical principles. He was the centre of the Hampstead-based group that included William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb, known as the "Hunt circle". Hunt also introduced John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson to the public.

Hunt's presence at Shelley's funeral on the beach near Viareggio was immortalised in the painting by Louis Édouard Fournier, although in reality Hunt did not stand by the pyre, as portrayed. Hunt inspired aspects of the Harold Skimpole character in Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House.[1]