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.
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“He stood bewildered, not appalled, on that dark shore which separates the ancient and the modern world.... He is power, passion, self-will personified.”
—William Hazlitt (17781830)