Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt
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Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), poet and radical journalist, descended from black Caribbeans, was a passionate advocate of liberal causes in England, enjoying the role of political martyr and the homage of writers like Lord Byron, while battling his private phobias.
‘instinctively’ attuned to Wordsworthian nature although he emphasised community and advised that Wordsworth should abandon his solitude for a closer acquaintance with society and ‘organized bodies’ of humanity.49 It’s significant that when Hunt wrote of the curative effects of ‘bathing air’ in his Hampstead sonnet, he harked back to the village’s eighteenth-century popularity as a spa, or health resort, where people gathered to enjoy both the rural environment and the sociable Assembly Room in.
Élise were taken in by the Hunts, while Claire lodged nearby to disguise the fact that she was a ‘single mother’. Mary Shelley’s journal entry for 9 February gives us the flavour of this month: Sunday 9th Walk with S. & Hunt to Brougham’s in the morning – after dinner Read the arcadia. Several of Hunt’s acquaintances come in the evening – Music – after Supper a discussion untill 3 in the morning with Hazlitt concerning monarchy & republicanism.38 Mary’s notes record weeks of convivial.
Of the time, men and women like Richard Brothers, a naval officer turned millenarian prophet, and Joanna Southcott, mother of the seraph man, Shiloh. According to Robert, Blake’s ‘bodily personifications of the soul’ were ‘distorted’ representations of the spirit.17 To the visionary poet of Songs of Innocence and of Experience, however, such comments revealed a benighted determination to divide physical ‘reality’ from the radiant spiritual universe; the review, and by extension the Examiner, its.
State of things on earth’. The poet then takes his return flight to Beckenham, encountering en route ‘the rising spirit of a young poet, who died prematurely’.18 The next decade would see Hunt shaping the careers of two young poets, both of whom died young and whose spirits would alter the course of his own life, and haunt modern Romantic myth. But when Hunt was sketching his plan for a poem he was preoccupied with his own situation: Gowland Cottage was cramped, and the strains of being a father.
Letters and legal papers, it appears that the Hunts were cheated of a fortune by their American relatives. An inventory of ‘The Property of Stephen Shewel Esqre’, undated but presumably from around 1810, lists his extensive properties at Philadelphia: Three houses taken by Mr. Gibbs at valuation. Two houses belonging to Miss E. Shewells estate. One house in Pewter Platter Alley. Ground Rent sold. Ground Rent in Pewter Platter Alley. Joseph Bond’s mortgage. Various Bonds unsettled about— Bank.