Image of William Hazlitt


Lifetime: 1778 - 1830 Passed: ≈ 193 years ago


Essayist, Literary Critic, Painter, Philosopher


United Kingdom

William Hazlitt

William Hazlitt was an English essayist, drama and literary critic, painter, social commentator, and philosopher. He is now considered one of the greatest critics and essayists in the history of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. He is also acknowledged as the finest art critic of his age. Despite his high standing among historians of literature and art, 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, William Wordsworth, and John Keats.

Books by William Hazlitt

Characters of Shakespeare's Plays Cover image

Characters of Shakespeare's Plays

Non-Fiction Essays Reference work
19th century Analysis Literary Criticism Character Develpoment

Characters of Shakespeare's Plays is a book by William Hazlitt, a 19th-century English essayist and critic. The book is a collection of essays in which Hazlitt discusses and analyzes the characters of Shakespeare's plays. Hazlitt begins the book wit...

Plain Speaker: Opinions on Books, Men, and Things Cover image

Plain Speaker: Opinions on Books, Men, and Things

The Plain Speaker: Opinions on Books, Men, and Things is a posthumous collection of essays by William Hazlitt, organized by his grandson, William Carew Hazlitt. The book contains some of Hazlitt's more famous essays that couldn't be found in book for...

Liber Amoris Cover image

Liber Amoris

Liber Amoris is unlike anything Hazlitt wrote and probably like nothing you've come across before. On the face of it it tells the story of Hazlitt's infatuation with his landlords daughter. Hazlitt was middle aged and she young and pretty, a bit of a...

Spirit of the Age; Or, Contemporary Portraits Cover image

Spirit of the Age; Or, Contemporary Portraits

William Hazlitt was a keen observer of his time and the people populating the literary landscape. He presents short monographs on such illustrious persons as Jeremy Bentham, known for his philosophy of utility, William Godwin, who raised the standard...